Personal Info Not So Secure When You Recycle Your Cell Phone

regenersis pile of cell phones photo

Image via Regenersis

Properly erasing information is an important step in the process of recycling your e-waste. Unfortunately, when Regenersis sampled 2,000 cell phones, 99% of them had personal data still stored in them, including sensitive information like bank account information.If your cell phone is in good shape when you send it in to a company for recycling, it will be spiffed up and sent off to a new owner - and that new owner could have access to everything you left on your phone before sending it it, including personal data. Some recyclers may erase the data for you, but some may not. So, be sure to erase your data yourself before sending it away.

From Regenersis:

Mark Franklin, Managing Director of Regenersis said, "We processed over 2 million handsets in 2008. Data clearance of these handsets is critical to ensure the security of those who entrust their unwanted mobiles to us. This can often take as long as 30 minutes depending on the complexity of the handset, so only the most reputable firms bother to do this essential work. Our advice to consumers is to check with the recycling firm to confirm that all data will be removed. If it isn't, then think twice before sending them your handset as your data could end up in the wrong hands."

Good advice to take.

Erasing your personal info from your cell phone is pretty simple. There are a few ways you can do it, including removing the SIM card, but perhaps the easiest way to get instructions is to visit Wireless Recycling's website and click on their Data Eraser page to download instructions specific to your model of phone.

Via Cleantechnica
More on Cell Phone Recycling:
50 Ways to Recycle Your Cell Phone
Recycle Your Cell Phone for Fun, Profit
NextWorth Buy Back Program Pays iPhone Owners Enough for 3G Upgrade

Related Content on