Before you sell your old cellphone, make sure you do this

How to wipe away your information; best places to sell your phone

The used phone market is booming thanks to the high cost of a new model. But before cashing in on your old phone, here are steps to make sure your information, such as photos and passwords, don't fall into the wrong hands.

About 120 million people a year sell their old phones. Depending on the age, model and condition, used phones can sell for up to $400. Before you sell, make sure you follow some important steps and that you know where you can make the most money selling your device.

Smartphones carry all kinds of personal information like your passwords, contacts and bank transactions. So, don't sell until you remove all your data.

First, back up your data. Then perform a factory reset to wipe the phone's memory clean of apps, photos, videos and email. Use a paper clip to remove the SIM card on the side of the phone. This contains information linked to your cellular account, which you'll need to activate a new phone.

Before you decide on a price, find your phone's value. Compare prices on eBay, Swappa and Gazelle. Keep in mind that you may make more money selling on websites like Amazon, uSell or Craigslist.

Phone stores offer buyback programs that pay less, but they can be more convenient.