November 20, 2017
With new mobile phones regularly being released, boasting new features and better performance, it’s hardly surprising that consumers are replacing their phones more and more frequently. It’s important to bear in mind though, that smartphones are now pocket sized computers rather than just phones and hold a lot of information about the owner.
The majority of smartphones will have emails, bank details, passwords, contact information and more stored on them and if this information gets into the wrong hands it can cause all sorts of problems. Do you really want to risk anyone else having access to your bank accounts and personal information, not to mention run the risk of identity theft?
When people sell second hand computers or laptops, they are usually rather more careful about erasing files and personal data, but for some reason it doesn’t always occur to mobile phone users that they need to do the same with their smartphones.
There are several companies that offer you money for your old mobile phone, and there is also a thriving industry reselling second hand phones on eBay and other online sites. Obviously it is important that mobile phones are recycled, however selling your old phone for cash isn’t necessarily the best course of action, as you don’t know who has access to the information that may still be available on your mobile phone.
Just erasing your data yourself may not be enough. As with computers, with the right technology and knowledge hackers may still be able to get hold of information less accessible to ordinary users.
Most smartphone users think that the factory reset function will remove all data, however it was shown a few years ago that the factory reset function of Android smartphones was flawed and left a door for data to be recovered. The data was not permanently erased, it just meant that writing over the data was possible – and researchers from Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory showed that user files were recoverable after a factory reset even just using off-the-shelf forensic apps.
More recently it has been discovered that for years OnePlus smartphones have been shipped with a hidden backdoor that allows hackers with physical access to root one of these phones (allowing access to everything in the operating system and permission to change anything about the device’s software) with just a few lines of code. It’s not clear whether it was intentional or an accident, but either way it shows that our data is often not as secure as most people think.
The good news however is that it is possible to get rid of all the data on a smartphone. Recycling Your IT will not only recycle your old phone but can also offer the assurance that the data is completely eradicated. Our technology allows us to shred it into pieces less than 1cm in diameter, after which the shredding machine sorts out the various materials to ensure that it is all recycled and doesn’t end up in landfill. If you’d like the peace of mind that comes with this type of secure data shredding, take a look at our mobile phone recycling service.