How to factory reset your phone to protect your personal information

Got a new phone? That’s great!  Now, first things first — what to do with your old one after you’ve backed it up. 

If you’re like most people, your smartphone contains a lot of personal information like emails, photos, logins, financial and health information, and so much more.

So, before trading in, selling or giving away it to family or friends, you’ll want to take the quick step to factory reset your device.

In this week’s tip, we’ll show you how you can quickly and securely erase your personal data and other sensitive information before getting rid of your old smartphone.

As we mentioned above, make sure you have recently backed up your smartphone before securely erasing your device, because you won’t be able to retrieve your data once your phone is reset. To learn how to backup your iOS or Android device, check out our recent blog post on 4 simple ways to backup your phone. 


How to factory reset your iPhone

The preparation for erasing your iPhone actually takes a little bit longer than the few steps needed to wipe your device — but this prep is critical to protecting your data and account information.

  1. If you have an Apple Watch, unpair it from your iPhone now.
  2. Backup your iPhone, if you haven’t yet already.
  3. Make sure you have your phone’s passcode and your Apple ID password ready.
  4. Sign out of iCloud and the iTunes & App Store.
  5. To erase your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone, then tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  6. Remove your SIM card. To be extra safe, it’s a good idea to remove your SIM card if you plan to give away or sell your phone. Your SIM card may contain your phone number, security information and billing information. To remove, locate the SIM tray (usually on the right side of your device) and insert a paperclip into the hole to pop out the tray. Take out the SIM card and replace the tray.

How to factory reset your Android

Factory resetting your Android device is very straightforward, but the process may vary depending on your device. If you have any issues, please contact your manufacturer for more information.

  1. Backup your data on your Android.
  2. Plug in your device or charge it to at least 70%.
  3. Open Settings > System.
  4. Tap Reset options, then tap Erase all data and follow the on-screen directions.

How to use Google Maps Live View to always find your way

Ever get lost walking in a big city, airport or mall and the regular map on your smartphone isn’t helping you find your way?

You’re in luck! A little-known feature in Google Maps harnesses its “augmented reality” technology and your smartphone’s camera to give you live 3D walking directions, as well as useful information like how busy a restaurant is, reviews and user-generated photos.

Using this helpful feature is quick and easy, and this week’s tip we’ll show you how to always know the way to go.

How to use Live View in Google Maps

Live View in Google Maps is a great enhanced navigation tool when you’re walking anywhere that Google has documented. Google’s AI technology uses your camera to identify buildings, streets and other objects in the viewfinder, and the GPS positions your location on the map. 

Live View is only available when mapping out walking directions. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Open Google Maps on your device (iPhone or Android)
  2. Under the Explore or Go tabs, search for your destination, then tap “Directions”
  3. Beneath your destination, tap the walk icon.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, tap “Live View”
  5. If this your first time using Live View, you may be prompted with some instructions and asking you to grant access to your camera
  6. Point your rear-facing camera at buildings or other landmarks around you. You’ll need to keep your phone in a raised position to continue using this feature.
  7. Follow the on-screen directions to your destination — but stay aware of your surroundings while you look at your phone!

Mass Shootings Can Be Stopped Only if We Work Together

Think of someone you love. Picture them now. Your child, grandchild, mom, dad, partner, spouse, sibling, or best friend. Where do they attend school, work, or church? What is their name? What was the last thing you said to them? Are there any family traditions, vacations, or life milestones that make you smile? 

Now imagine you’re at work and a breaking news alert lights up your phone: a shooting at a shopping center close to where they live. It feels surreal to see a place you know written there in black and white. The word “shooting” makes you feel numb. 

You reach out. One text, then another, no response. You call, no answer. 

Another breaking news alert: multiple deaths and injuries. In a panic you rush to the scene, then the hospital. You’re met with chaos. You notice a jacket you bought them for their birthday lying in a corner of the ER. It’s bloodied and cut in half. You catch the eye of a nurse and finally learn that your loved one sustained six gunshot wounds to the chest and one to the head while trying to shield others. They are gone. The doctor is speaking, but you can’t hear anything. You think of how you just saw them that morning, you didn’t get to say goodbye. Nothing seems to matter, not the trivial arguments or the canceled plans. Certainly not politics. 

There are nearly a hundred families who live this gut-wrenching reality every day. Maybe you’re one of them. No person should live this nightmare. In order for this country to function, we need to balance responsibility with freedom. This is what reasonable gun owners believe too.

March For Our Lives (MFOL) was founded in 2018 after the shooting in Parkland, FL. In the weeks following the tragedy, students organized one of the largest protests in our nation’s history. Millions marched in Washington, DC, and in 800+ sibling marches around the world. March For Our Lives evolved from a moment into a movement: with 200+ local chapters across the country today, we are in our fifth year more dedicated and poised than ever to empower the next generation to eradicate gun violence in all forms. MFOL works to advance lifesaving legislation and community-based solutions to address America’s gun violence epidemic at the federal, state, and local levels.

Since we marched most recently on June 11th, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was signed into law, becoming the first piece of gun violence prevention legislation passed in about 30 years. This included $250 million in funding for community violence intervention programs, enhanced background checks for ages 18 to 21, and investment in child and family mental health care. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a start.

In the meantime, the gun violence epidemic has only metastasized. Today, guns are the leading cause of death. As of September 12th, there have been over 479 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

As this public health crisis continues, Americans are finally finding common ground. Gun owners, even former gun industry executives, are demanding action because tragedies like Uvalde do not reflect their values. If we can agree that killing children is unacceptable, then we need to either prevent people intent on killing from getting their hands on the guns they use or stop their intent to kill in the first place.

Shooters are often radicalized and moved to kill because of racism and hatred, just like in Buffalo. That isn’t a mental illness. A long process occurred that led him to a desire to pick up a gun and kill. That’s the case for all kinds of gun violence in this country. No law is perfect, but if we focus on stopping the process of radicalization to violence, we can reduce gun deaths by half over the next decade. And we need to act now. 

To every person reading this: I ask you to take action in whatever capacity you can. Have conversations about gun violence prevention with your family and friends. If you’re able, donate to March For Our Lives so we can continue organizing in our communities, taking on the gun lobby, supporting sensible gun reform policies, and more. Our leaders have failed us, and so we’re left wondering: Who will be next? We can’t afford to wait to find out.

CREDO and its members have been vital supporters of March for Our Lives over the years, empowering young people to fight for a peaceful and just future for all Americans. We’re deeply grateful to the CREDO community for demonstrating a steadfast commitment to ending the epidemic of gun violence. We will not back down until our nation’s gun laws reflect the will of the majority of Americans rather than the deadly agenda of the NRA and gun industry. 

To learn more about our work and join us, visit

The National Abortion Hotline is fighting to make abortion care more accessible

Note from the CREDO team: This September, National Abortion Hotline is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will support the Dr. Tiller Patient Assistance Fund at the National Abortion Hotline, which covers travel and other practical support expenses for people seeking abortion care

Read this important blog post from Nora Turner, Development Coordinator at National Abortion Hotline, then click here to visit to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this September.

It is a devastating time for reproductive rights and abortion access in the United States. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and in the months since we have seen 14 states severely restrict or completely ban abortion care. This decision has forced abortion seekers to travel across state lines to obtain the health care they need, which places an undue burden on the most marginalized among us and makes the reality of obtaining abortion care nearly impossible for many people nationwide.

At the National Abortion Hotline, we are dedicated to making abortion care more accessible for people no matter where they love or how much money they have. Through our Hotline, our intake counselors and case managers work one-on-one with people seeking abortion care, helping make referrals to clinics and providing financial support for procedure and travel needs. Every day, our staff is on the phone, supporting people with increasingly complex cases in need of help. Many patients who call us are unsure if abortion is accessible in their area and aren’t familiar with the minutia of complicated state laws, like mandatory waiting periods and gestational bans. Also, patients are facing increasingly complex circumstances, like the need to travel hundreds of miles for very early abortion care that might have previously been much more accessible. The dire reality of this new situation can’t be understated, however, and our team is working tirelessly to help as many people as possible access health care.

The National Abortion Hotline is proud, and determined, to support people who need to travel to obtain necessary abortion care. Through the Dr. Tiller Patient Assistance Fund and our travel coordination team, we are booking plane tickets and hotel rooms for patients, providing them with rideshare credits and gas cards, and even providing gift cards to help them cover food and other needs during their time away from home.

As we navigate the ever-changing landscape and laws that make it so difficult for so many people to access the health care they need, we are grateful for your support and belief in abortion access. This road is a long one, but we are glad to have you by our side in the fight to ensure abortion access for all who need it.

 For more information about abortion and other resources, including financial assistance, please call the National Abortion Hotline at 1-800-772-9100 or visit us on our website.

Thanks to CREDO members, the Innocence Project is restoring lives by freeing the innocent

Our grantee partners at the Innocence Project exonerate, free, and support the staggering number of innocent people wrongfully incarcerated. The organization envisions a criminal legal system beyond wrongful conviction and works to transform the unjust, unreliable, and racially biased systems responsible.

In February 2022, CREDO members voted to distribute $37,590 to help power the Innocence Project’s work to restore lives by freeing the innocent and supporting their reconnection to community, transform the systems responsible through policy reform, and advance the collective power of this innocence movement. In total, CREDO members have helped us donate $231,317 in total since 2000.

Here are some recent victories and highlights of the Innocence Project’s recent work, thanks to funding from CREDO members:

Recent victories

Funding from the CREDO community helped to support the Innocence Project’s work to restore lives by freeing the innocent and supporting their reconnection to community, transform the systems responsible through policy reform, and advance the collective power of the innocence movement.

The IP’s work begins with freeing the innocent and examining the root causes of each wrongful conviction. In the last year alone, eight wrongfully convicted people were freed or exonerated. Each exoneration reveals patterns of racial bias, unethical conduct, improper police procedures, prosecutorial misconduct, and invalid science — informing and driving our reform and prevention efforts.

Behind each wrongful conviction is a human being whose freedom was lost because of bias, incompetence, indifference or corruption, — a mother, brother, father, son or daughter. Their stories amplify not only the injustices they have faced, but also our clients’ perseverance and strength. It is these stories that drive our work and remind us of the immeasurable impact this work has in restoring freedom and clearing the names of those wrongfully convicted. Recent victories included:

John Galvan, Arthur Almendarez, Francisco Nanez | July 2022 | Illinois

Exonerated after the men served 105 years in prison for wrongful conviction

Cause of Wrongful Conviction: Coerced confession, eyewitness identification, junk science


John Galvan: The Innocence Project and the Exoneration Project

Arthur Almendarez: The Exoneration Project

Francisco Nanez: the Cook County Public Defender

The three men were wrongfully convicted for an alleged aggravated arson and alleged murder in the case of 1986 apartment fire on the southwest side of Chicago in which two brothers, Julio Martinez and Guadalupe Martinez, died. Mr. Galvin was just 18, Mr. Almendarez, 20 and Mr. Nanez, 22 when they were arrested and wrongly incarcerated. The men were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and could have been sentenced to death. Combined, they have spent 105 years in prison for an alleged crime they didn’t commit.

Mallory Nicholson | June 2022 | Texas

Exonerated after four decades of wrongful conviction

Cause of Wrongful Conviction: State Withheld Exculpatory Evidence

Mr. Nicholson was arrested for burglary and the sexual assault of two children in June 1982. No physical evidence connected him to the crime and he has steadfastly maintained his innocence for decades. In June, as a result of a collaboration between the IP and the Dallas County Conviction Integrity Unit, Mallory Nicholson was exonerated after he spent 21 years in prison and 19 years on parole as a registered sex offender. The IP and Dallas Conviction Integrity Unit’s reinvestigation revealed that the State withheld key evidence at trial that pointed to an alternative suspect and demonstrated inconsistencies in the victims’ identifications. Mr. Nicholson is now officially eligible for compensation for the years he lost to his wrongful conviction.

Barry Jacobson | January 2022 | Massachusetts

Exonerated after nearly four decades of wrongful conviction

Cause of Wrongful Conviction: Anti-Semitism and Jury Bias, Fabricated Evidence

On January 31, 2022, Barry Jacobson’s 1983 arson conviction in Richmond, Massachusetts was vacated, and he was exonerated after nearly four decades of wrongful conviction and a month of wrongful incarceration. Mr. Jacobson was convicted in a biased trial in which jurors made anti-Semitic remarks about Mr. Jacobson, who is Jewish. Additionally, evidence strongly indicates that a key piece of the state’s case against Mr. Jacobson was fabricated. Mr. Jacobson was offered a pardon three times if he would admit guilt, but he maintained his innocence, and his pardon was denied. In January, the Commonwealth agreed with Mr. Jacobson that his conviction should be vacated on the grounds that he did not receive a trial before an impartial jury because the jury deliberations had been infected by anti-Semitic bias.

San Antonio, Texas – March 26, 2022:
Advocates of Melissa Lucio were seen during the yearly Cesar Chavez march in San Antonio, Texas on March 26, 2022.
Photo: Christopher Lee for the Innocence Project.

Recent projects

The IP’s legal staff currently represents more than 100 clients in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Moving forward, the organization intends to increase the capacity of our post-conviction legal team.

In addition, the IP has expanded its social work program to provide holistic services to clients during and after their release. Many exonerees experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A strong community support system is critical to building recovery and healing. While some exonerees it works with have these networks of support, others have lost ties with their loved ones and communities as a result of their wrongful conviction. Many exonerees also face the formidable task of rebuilding their lives and identities. Because of the increased expense of housing (and the challenges exonerees often have in finding a place to live), the IP has created a new separate housing fund to support exonerees.

Many exonerees have lived decades within the rigid confines of prison — navigating this intense transition back into the “outside world” can be distressing and disorienting. That’s why IP’s new Re-entry Coach position is so important; and why we’ve hired exoneree Rodney Roberts as the first person to fill this key role. Mr. Roberts was an IP client who was exonerated in 2018, and he has dedicated much of his time since his release to supporting his fellow exonerees and other people reentering society.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved with the Innocence Project, please visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks to CREDO members, we’ve donated $94 million to progressive non-profits since 1985

We have some really exciting news to share: 

Thanks to loyal CREDO members like you, we have donated $94 MILLION since 1985 to empower incredible organizations fighting for climate justice, civil rights, economic justice, women’s rights, voting rights and peace.

In the past year, our members funded incredible nonprofit groups including the National LGBTQ Task Force, Fair Fight Action, American Civil Liberties Union, Earthjustice, Win Without War, Brady: United Against Gun Violence,, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and dozens of others organizations who share our values.

This month, you can help us distribute our monthly donations among three amazing organizations: Facing History and Ourselves, March For Our Lives, and the National Abortion Hotline. Click here to vote for one, two or all three great organizations at

We simply cannot thank you enough for being CREDO members. Just by using our products and services every day, you are helping empower the change we want to see in the world and help make our planet a better place. So truly, thank you again — and here’s to $95 million and beyond!

Hunger Action Month with Feeding America

Food shouldn’t be an impossible choice.  

Last night, my family was choosing what to have for dinner. We talked through endless options. We could make pasta, but we couldn’t decide between brands of sauce we had. We could eat out, but we couldn’t decide where we all would enjoy. We ended up raiding our pantry for what each of us wanted and made four separate items to meet our individual tastes. This happens more often than I’d like to admit. The point is, though, that we had choices. Lots and lots of great choices.

For millions of people in America, a daily meal can often be an impossible choice between food and other critical needs—like medicine, utilities or childcare. It is not the choice of what to eat. The choice is if they eat. 

We know hunger exists in every community in the U.S. We also know rural communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by economic instability—like the soaring inflation rate that is the highest it’s been in 40 years. Neighbors who have already been working to overcome the hardships wrought by the effects of the pandemic, are now faced with a 10% increase to buy groceries for their family. When difficult times hit, food can be the first thing people forgo to make ends meet.

For many, a daily meal is a simple choice of what to eat. But for people facing hunger, a daily meal poses a very different type of choice. It’s often an impossible choice between food and other crucial needs, such as electricity, childcare or medicine. 

September is Hunger Action Month® and Feeding America wants to encourage everyone to take action to end hunger.

For millions of people in America, a daily meal is a choice between food and other critical needs—like medicine, housing, or transportation. No one should have to make those types of choices.

This September, choose to end hunger.

To learn more about how you can take action this September, please visit:

Why Teach Reconstruction in 2022

Note from the CREDO team: This September, Facing History and Ourselves is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will help educators across the country nurture students’ analytical skills, empathy, academic engagement, and civic agency—even amidst efforts to restrict teaching about race, identity, and other vital aspects of American history and life.

Read this important blog post from Facing History and Ourselves, then click here to visit to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this September.

Man representing the Freedman’s Bureau stands between armed groups of Euro-Americans and Afro-Americans.
Image used in Reconstruction video series.

“American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.” —James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers” (1963)

Over the last year, we have seen an explosion of debate within the public sphere about how to teach young people about the past. From antebellum slavery to contemporary manifestations of racism and other forms of injustice, communities remain divided on the question of whether and how to introduce these dimensions of history and contemporary life into the classroom. One way to deliver meaningful instruction in the midst of these debates is to teach about the Reconstruction Era—the period that immediately followed the Civil War in which formerly enslaved people pursued meaningful freedom and equal citizenship. This period was transformative, in part, because these newly-freed people and their allies across the U.S. South helped to make profound changes to democratic institutions. During this period, African Americans achieved significant, hard-won gains that students are seldom taught about, only to be undercut by a countervailing host of regressive measures implemented by those invested in maintaining the racial and economic status quo. This period of unprecedented possibility and hope would become a time of immense injustice and violence, and the roles that actors large and small played in those events are instructive for our times.

At Facing History, we believe that much is lost when we fail to engage this history in the classroom, and that our nation at large stands to gain a great deal by recovering knowledge of this historical period and its lessons. We recently supported our partners at the Zinn Education Project in an advisory capacity with their Teach Reconstruction Report (January 2022). A core component of their Teach Reconstruction Campaign, the report offers a state-by-state analysis of the ways in which Reconstruction is addressed—or not—around the country with an emphasis on the widespread erasure of the Black freedom struggle from K-12 curricula.

Since 2014, we have helped educators adapt our curriculum on the Reconstruction Era to their classrooms and students. Our experience supporting educators on this topic has strengthened our belief that students of Reconstruction gain a host of fundamental lessons about American history and the roles they can play in the future of the nation. Here are three of those core lessons:

Interracial democracy that includes widespread Black political leadership is indeed possible

Many people are unaware that with new freedoms and Constitutional amendments, the United States saw an outpouring of Black political leadership in the aftermath of the Civil War. In communities across the South, Black people held elected office and set profound changes to their communities into motion. This basic fact is unknown to many modern Americans, perhaps in part because the American history taught in schools so often skips over this significant period, effectively advancing an understanding of the past that obscures both what has been and what could potentially be again.

Present-day barriers to interracial democracy were never inevitable

The history of Reconstruction reveals that there were alternative paths that the nation could have taken after the Civil War that may have landed us in a profoundly different present characterized by a much more robust interracial democracy. A typical account of Black history in America might highlight a linear story of gradual improvements from enslavement to emancipation to the Jim Crow Era to the Civil Rights Movement to the Obama presidency. Viewing history in this light might suggest that change can only ever come slowly but the sudden wave of Black political leadership during Reconstruction disrupts these assumptions and demands that we understand that the present-day problems we face did not have to develop and are not necessarily unshakable.

Individual choices really do matter and make history

Studying the history of Reconstruction reveals that American history is lined with recurring cycles of social progress and backlash in which everyday people have surmounted immense barriers to drive powerful change. Though some people might look at this chapter of American history as one that reveals the impossibility of fundamental and lasting change, our view at Facing History is that our history simply reveals that we must remain ever vigilant in the fight against injustice. Rather than focusing on the possibility of our gains being reversed, we ought to focus on learning from our past and from the courageous and oft-overlooked gains made by newly-freed people in the Reconstruction era for example. If we can learn from their strategies and successes as well as the violent and often devastating resistance they faced, we can better hone our approach to the collective action upon which democracy depends.

To learn more about how Facing History helps students explore complex ethical issues, reflect on choices they confront today, and embrace their civic power, visit

Need to scan a document? You can do it from your smartphone for free

We’ve all been there: You need to scan a document to sign, send or save — but honestly, who has an actual scanner at home?

Luckily, you can scan all of your important documents safely and securely right from your smartphone.

In this week’s tip, we’ll give you a few quick steps to scan and save documents on your iPhone and Android device for free.

Scanning documents from your iOS device

You can easily scan documents from your iPhone or iPad from right inside the Notes app. Here’s how to scan documents from your iOS device:

  1. Open the Notes app . If you can’t find the Notes app, search for it by swiping down from the middle of the home screen (on older devices, you might need to swipe right). Tap the search bar, start typing “Notes,” then open the app.
  2. Create a new Note or open an existing Note.
  3. Tap the Camera button , then tap Scan Documents
  4. Hold your phone over the document or object you want to scan and follow the instructions on the screen (for example, your device may ask you to move closer or farther away).
  5. If Auto is enabled, your device should automatically scan. If not, manually press the shutter button . Drag the corners to adjust the scanned area, and press Keep Scan. Then, scan a new document to add to the Note or press Save.
  6. In order to use the document outside of the Notes app, you may want to send it to yourself or someone else. To do that, tap the More button to bring up a list of commands, including Send a Copy.

Scanning documents from your Android device

Scanning documents and saving them as PDF files from your Android device is just as simple. Here’s how:

  1. To begin scanning, open Google Drive
  2. Next, tap Add in the bottom right corner of the app.
  3. Then, tap Scan
  4. You can now adjust the scan area, take the photo again, or scan another page.
  5. Tap Done when you’re finished. Your file will be saved in your Google Drive.