If you have sold or donated your cell phone in the past, you may be in for huge surprise. According to a recent NBC article related to cell phones that are sold online, Trust Digital who bought 10 used cell phones from eBay recovered the equivalent of 27,000 pages of personal and corporate information from these phones. Below is a sampling of the some the information found;
One company’s plans to win a multimillion-dollar federal transportation contract.
E-mails about another firm’s $50,000 payment for a software license.
Bank accounts and passwords.
Details of prescriptions and receipts for one worker’s utility payments
Apparently your phone’s basic erase/delete information features are not sufficient in removing the information from your phone, and in some cases people just don’t take the time to delete their personal information. Some phones like the Treo, require a very complicated set of button combinations that in some cases "…may take two people" in order to effectively erase all information. I hope that the referenced article has made all readers aware of the potential risk that exists when you sell/donate your phone to someone else, so please make sure to take this risk seriously.
In order to remedy this issue I suggest you head on over to WirelessRecycling.com and select your phone manufacturer and model to read the detailed instructions on how to truly delete all of the information contained in your phone. Comments/suggestions are welcome.