How to wipe a Nokia clean

Passwords & F-Secure’s software

If, like me, you’ve recently had cause to return a Nokia handset, how do you remove every last vestige of your personal data. Well, I have two methods which might work. One manual and one remotely – thanks to software installed by F-Secure. Remote wipe is a facility which I’ve always wanted to test but never had the opportunity before.I tested the remote wipe facility courtesy of Nokia itself which had very kindly loaned me its latest smartphone – the N8 – so that I could experience the latest Symbian can offer.

When it came time to return the handset, I was faced with the dilemma – how to ensure all my data and apps had been removed so that another reviewer wouldn’t see them.

Then I remembered that F-Secure‘s security software had come as standard with the N8.

All I had to do was set up a four digit password and I could wipe the handset clean remotely by sending it a SMS/text message.

Whatyou have to put in the text is something like #WIPE#1234 and it works. The software even wipes the memory card by corrupting it. Very clever.

Of course, I took the calculated risk that the whole process might have permanently disabled the N8 (which it didn’t). Don’t tell Nokia I took the gamble.

Incidentally, you can also send a text something like #LOCATION#1234 and the handset will send you a text with its best guess at current location.

If you are in the habit of leaving GPS on, then the location will be almost spot on (otherwise it just uses network information).

Shortly afterwards I decided to recycle my Nokia E66. I found the top price from Money4MyMobile.

I used this price comparison site Mobilephonerecyclingcomparison because I couldn’t remember the name of the other comparison site which is something like Omeo. Should have asked Tamlin Magee, he’d have known.

Anyway, to wipe the E66, i looked through old issues of Mobile Insight  – the newsletter I intend to revive soon, too.

All you have to do is type in *#7370# (as if you were dialling that number) and follow that with the password 12345. Hey presto, the handset was reset to original factory settings.

It always takes me ages to find that code again, so if anybody has a good suggestion for how to store it in a text file for easy retrieval, let me know. I don’t think you can use *#7370# as a file name, can you?

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About Tony Dennis

Freelance writer & consultant
This entry was posted in mobile handsets, Nokia, security software, Symbian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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