Tech Tips: Managing your Amazon Wish List & how to wipe an old iPhone to remove data
January 21, 2018
A friend recently referred to some item on my Amazon Wish List when we were chatting, and I was horrified! I had no idea that anyone else could see what I had added to this shopping list. Is there some way to ensure that no one can see the items on my Amazon Wish List?
Surprising, isn't it? It turns out that your default Wish List (and any other list you create on Amazon.com) is public, by default. Maybe the theory is that if your wish list is public, some friend will find it — this requires knowing only your name or email address — and will "gift" you an item from your list.
If you're like us, you really don't want the public able to view your Wish List on Amazon.com. We use this list as a way to track things we might like to purchase at some point, but not currently. This isn't public information, or at least, it shouldn't be. We don't want the public able to view our fantasy purchases.
Luckily, it's easy to change your wish list accessibility so that it's private. Log into Amazon.com, and hover your mouse over Accounts & Lists. Under Your Lists, select your Wish List. Amazon displays your Wish List, and most likely, you'll find that it includes the word Public next to the name of the list. (If it says "Private", you don't need to change anything.)
Click the Edit This List link, and change the Privacy option to Private. Click Save Changes, and you're done. You can also opt to make your list Shared. Once you've selected that option, you can send the URL for your wish list to friends, and they can view your Wish List (and perhaps purchase items on it for you).
If you have items on your Amazon Wish List that you'd rather not have the public know about, take a moment and switch the list's accessibility to Private to keep out snooping eyes.
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Wipe an old iPhone to remove data
I recently purchased a new phone, and I'd like to sell my existing iPhone. I certainly don't want the new buyer to see all my data, however. How can I reset my phone so all my data is gone?
You really, really don't want to give your old phone to someone with your data still on it. Seriously, that would be a terrible idea. Before you hand off your device, you want to remove any trace of your data, contacts, email, photos — all your data. The best solution would be to completely reset your phone, so it behaves like it did the first time you turned it on.
Anticipating this need, Apple built in the functionality to completely reset your phone. And it's easy to do.
We suggest you ensure that you have a backup of your data first, of course. You can connect your phone to your computer and use iTunes to back it up. You can also perform an iCloud backup. (Search the Web for more information on backing up your phone.)
In any case, if you don't back it up, you'll lose any data that you haven't already copied to your new phone.
If you have an Apple Watch, start by unpairing the phone from your watch. Then, remove your phone from your iCloud account — go to the Settings app, tap your user name, and then scroll to the bottom and select Sign Out.
In the Settings app, go to General, then select Reset, then Erase All Content and Settings.
If Find My iPhone is enabled, you'll also need to enter your password at this point. Click the Erase prompt, and soon, your phone will have that "new car" smell all over again.
With all your data removed, you can safely sell your phone. (By the way, we've had good luck selling used phones on gazelle.com; check it out.)
Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken's tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21 a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.