Need To Pawn Your Smartwatch? Here's How To Protect Your Personal Information

Are you in a bit of a financial rut and looking to pawn your smartwatch to come up with some extra money? If so, you should be aware that a recent study found that 100 percent of smartwatches tested had vulnerabilities that could allow your personal information to be taken advantage of. Before you bring your smartwatch to the pawn shop, here's what you should do to clear the personal information from your device and protect your privacy.

Backup Your Data

If you have any photos or other important data on your smartwatch, the first thing you'll want to do is backup this content so you don't lose it. Most smartwatch apps automatically update to cloud storage, but just to be safe, make sure you're signed into your cloud storage account and then open your watch's main settings tab and look for an option that allows you to backup all app data to cloud storage. Once your content is in cloud storage, you can retrieve it later from your smartphone or any other Internet-capable device.

Keep in mind that, in order to successfully backup the data from your watch to your cloud storage, you'll need an active Internet connection for the duration of the time it takes for the data to be transferred.

Remove Payment Methods

Newer models of smartwatches are equipped with cloud-based mobile payment systems. When you use these systems, your payment information isn't actually stored in your watch; it's stored in mobile cloud storage and accessed by your watch when needed.

To disable your watch's ability to access your payment information, sign into your cloud storage account from either your watch or your phone, and navigate to the settings. From here, you should be able to select a device -- choose your watch. Click on "remove payment methods" and you're done. Although your credit and debit card information is still in the cloud and accessible from your other payment-enabled devices, your watch can no longer grab this information from cloud storage.

Erase Your Content

Once any data you want to keep is successfully uploaded to cloud storage and you've disabled your watch from being able to access your cloud-based payment methods, it's safe to erase all content from your watch. This process will clear your photos, your contacts, your downloaded apps, and any remaining personal data from your watch.

Under your watch's main settings, you should find an option to reset your watch. Select this option, and then click on the option to erase all content and settings. This will remove your data from your smartwatch and restore it to its factory settings.

Make Sure Your Phone Is Unpaired

By restoring your smartwatch to its factory settings in the previous step, you should have also unpaired your smartwatch from your smartphone. However, it's a good idea to make sure your two devices are unpaired by manually unpairing them, as well.

To make sure you have successfully unpaired your watch and your phone, place your phone and your watch in the same vicinity, and then open your smartwatch app on your phone. In the settings of your watch app, look for the option that says "unpair phone." Click this option and you've successfully removed the link between your smartwatch and your smartphone; the information on your phone can no longer be accessed by your smartwatch.

If you've run into difficult financial times, pawning your smartwatch could provide the extra money you need to get you through to your next paycheck. You can opt to sell your watch to the pawn shop outright, or take out a loan against your watch and buy it back once your budget has recovered. Either way, keep your personal data protected by following the above steps before making any deals.