Thousands of mobile phones are recycled every year, and with them comes the potential risk for thousands of data leaks. Consider your phone to be a document that you store your personal information in. You would never risk giving that document to somebody that you didn’t know and trust. It’s important that you do everything you can to protect your data at home before you give it to a phone recycling service. Here are some tips from the Mobicode mobile security experts to help you be sure that your phone is ready to be recycled.
These days, so much of our lives are on our phones, from calenders, social media profiles, banking information and photos. Make sure any images you want to keep, notes you’ve got stored and contacts you want to remember are stored. This could be to a computer or a cloud storage solution – but ensure it’s done before you do anything else with your phone.
iCloud, email, social media and the rest of the apps on your phone all have data in them. It’s best to err on the side of caution here – log out of these platforms ahead of time and clear their data. Sometimes a factory reset doesn’t do the trick, so we’d always recommend covering your bases properly beforehand.
Every phone needs a SIM, but it’s surprising how many phones are handed in for recycling without this being removed. If you’ve got an android and use any kind of external storage like a microSD, remember to take this out as well. A factory reset won’t do anything to these, so any information on there is ready to be found.
The purpose of a factory reset is to return your phone’s software to the condition it was in when it left the factory. This is usually an easy process, though can vary from device to device. In general, follow the below instructions.
Android: Apps > Settings > Privacy > Factory data reset.
iPhone: Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
The problem that can arise with a factory reset is that it doesn’t remove data from a device – it simply makes it possible to be overwritten. This means that although the data isn’t instantly available, it could be recoverable by people who know what they’re looking for.
Most of you aren’t mobile security professionals – and that isn’t a problem. Problems arise when those who we trust with our data don’t treat it with the care it deserves. Some of the biggest names in the country use Mobicode products to ensure that they’re amongst the most trustworthy in the business. If you’re not sure, ask the person behind the counter how your phone will be wiped before you hand it over.
There is no such thing as too careful when it comes to your data. This is something that Mobicode and the companies we supply take very seriously, with constant dedication to improving the way we protect our customers. If you’d like to talk security, we’re always here to answer any questions. Get in touch today.