It’s really great to put your old cellphone back into circulation, even if that means just donating it to a family member. But please, remember to wipe the phone first.
Regenersis studied a random sample of 2000 handsets processed during the first week in December and found that 99% of handsets received contained some sort of personal data, including: contacts, SMS messages, pictures, music, videos, calendar entries, emails, notes, mailing lists and to do lists. In some cases, extremely sensitive information was contained, including bank details, addresses, and confidential emails.
This study was based on European phone donations, but we’re not going to pretend that U.S. citizens are ahead of the curve when it comes to data privacy. So please: recycle your phones, but don’t leave sensitive info on them.
If you need to erase your phone but don’t know how, try Googling the phrase “wipe phone data” + the name of your phone. Or visit this website and search for your phone there.
“WARNING: 99% of All Recycled Cell Phones Contain Owner’s Private Data” [CleanTechnica] (Thanks to Derrick!)
Free Data Eraser [Recellular.com]
(Photo: Pål Berge)