Published on January 31st, 2009 | by Jerry James Stone7
WARNING: 99% of All Recycled Cell Phones Contain Owner's Private Data
January 31st, 2009 by Jerry James Stone
The sampling was done by Regenersis. They processed over 2 million handsets in 2008; that’s one handset every 15 seconds. During a random sampling in December they discovered how many mobiles had not been wiped clean: a lot!
The average cell phone is replaced every 18 months. And hot numbers like the iPhone and Google’s Android are making smart phones even more ubiquitous. We’ve all heard about President Obama’s BlackBerry addiction, yes?
This means your cell phone’s new owner has access to all of your user names and passwords, or ever worse…your Twitter account.
“Data clearance of these handsets is critical to ensure the security of those who entrust their unwanted mobiles to us,” said Mark Franklin, managing director of Regenersis.
While wiping personal data is a service some recyclers do offer, it’s likely a two minute process to do it yourself. Some programs even suggest that you remove the SIM card before recycling your phone.
“Our advice to consumers is to check with the recycling firm to confirm that all data will be removed,” he said. “If it doesn’t, then think twice before sending them your handset as your data could end up in the wrong hands.”