It seems like just about everyone is carrying around a cell phone these days. Old and young, it seems to be the communication device of choice in the U.S. and for good reason. Not only are they more affordable, they are packed with features that make staying connected faster and easier than ever.
Protect Your Information
According to the CTIA (International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry) there are over 264.5 million data-capable devices in the hands of consumers as of June 2010. Of that number over 61.3 million were wireless-enabled smart phones or PDAs. As devices like cell phones become more popular and accessible, our dependence on them as consumers has grown. The Nielsen Company predicts that smartphones will overtake regular feature phones by Christmas of this year. What do you use your phone for? Fewer people are using them for calls and more for texting, email, games and browsing the internet which raises concerns for security of your personal information should you misplace or retire your phone without deleting your data.
Before you hand over your old cell phone, stop and think about whether your information remains on your phone.
Are there photos and personal information and phone numbers stored to the phone’s memory? Chances are the answer is yes. Now ask what happens to your phone after you drop it off. Will someone securely wipe the data off the phone before it is refurbished and resold? Will you receive documentation for this? Or will it be scrapped and recycled for parts?
The EPA reports that in 2007 approximately 140.3 million units of cell phones were retired. Of those, 126.3 million units were disposed of and only 14.0 million units were recycled. That is potentially a lot of data out there in landfills just on phones, and it doesn’t include other electronics like laptops and desktop computers and we know that electronics consumption and production has only increased since that study was done. If you want to put those numbers into easy perspective, check out this art piece by Chris Jordan that shows what that many phones looks like. Just click the image and it will begin to zoom in and show the details of the image. It is mind boggling to say the least.
Contact DataShield to Learn More
If you are retiring your cell phones and are unsure of how to properly dispose of the data, find a reputable company like DataShield that you can trust. Recycling is not only responsible, it can also provide you peace of mind if you work with a reputable company that offers tracking and follow-up on all of your electronic recyclables that contain sensitive data. Contact DataShield for more information.