So everyone pretty much knows that before properly discarding or recycling an old computer you must remove or wipe all data from the hard drive. But how many of you are throwing away cell phones that still contain information?
In this day and age, more and more our cell phones, are becoming our “computers on the go”. We store passwords, check our banking accounts thru an App, purchase songs, and even pay bills. Now that you think about it, these little devices contain a lot of our information! Not only that, but we “upgrade” these devices at a much higher rate than computers. On average, consumers get a new cell phone, about every 25 months.
According to a recent survey of cell phone recyclers, almost 99% of all cell phones turned in had all data completely intact! Now that is a lot of personal information lying around in a drawer, landfill, and recycling centers.
Some recyclers do offer to wipe the data from your phone for you, but with Identity Theft at an all time high, it is best to take matters into your own hands.
Here’s how you do it:
First you must remove the SIM card from your phone. It’s a little plastic memory card usually located behind the back cover underneath the battery.
Then call your service provider and ask them to disconnect the phone from your account.
That’s it! That wasn’t hard, was it?
Unfortunately, if you own an iPhone or BlackBerry, it can be a little more complicated but there are easy to follow videos on www.youtube.com and www.metacafe.com that show you step by step how to wipe these types of phones clean prior to discarding.