Is Improper Disposal Of Your Cell Phone Worse Than Losing Your Wallet?
In today’s world, where cell phones carry so much of our data, it is not easy to decide whether losing a wallet is worse than improper disposal of your phone or not.
For people who are unaware of what improper disposal of their cell phones implies, losing a wallet may be the worse than the careless disposal of their mobile phones.
If you lose your wallet, you may lose some cash, credit cards, debit cards, driving license, etc. But if you dispose of your phone without taking the services of a good cell phone recycling service provider, you can lose a lot of precious data that can be misused. E-waste recycling when done properly not only prevents your data from misuse but also saves the environment from toxic materials.
Your smartphone is really smart as it keeps track of your location, photographs, calls, etc. Not only this, it is your mobile banking device and runs payment apps. It knows what you bought, from where you bought, when you bought, and how much you paid.
When you want to dispose of your phone, you usually sell it to somebody or recycle it. Of course, you first erase the data. You may use built-in tools to erase the data and set your phone to factory settings. But even after doing these things, your phone still has a lot of data left on it.
Following is the list of data that your phone may still have even after you have wiped off all the data from your side –
- Your name, date of birth and address
- Your Social Security number
- Photographs including metadata, which include the dates on which the photos were taken, times at which photographs were shot, and the locations where the photos were taken.
- Application data, application preference files, etc.
- E-mail data and e-mail address that can identify the owner of the cell phone.
- Documents such as a tax return having the Social Security number, bank statements, etc.
- List of websites visited cached website images, etc.
- Text messages, music and media files
- Phone number of the owner of the cell phone.
- Cell phone’s contacts database, which can provide phone numbers of all your contacts
Apart from the above precious information that your mobile phone can disclose even after you have deleted the data, it can also provide the list of all access points for the Wi-Fi and cellular networks that it came across in its life span. These access points can be used for location tracking, for example, they can tell which airports’ terminals you have visited. Thus, using the Wi-Fi hotspots, one can trace out your movements. Location data can reveal in which place you were present at a given time.
From your apparently erased cell phone, one can also get image files present in the cache of the web browser. From these cached images, one get a data trail. The recovered images can be searched through Google’s reverse image search. The reverse image search can identify the image. It may be a YouTube profile picture, an image from a website, etc. Now, if this website turns out to be an illegal one, then this may be troublesome for you in certain cases such as in a legal case.
So, after reading all this, you may agree that improper disposal of your phone can be far riskier than losing your wallet. But the question that now arises is what will you do the next time when you are thinking to dispose of your old cell phone and a buy a new one? The answer to this question is that you should dispose of your phone through a proper and secure channel.
You can sell your phone to a good cell phone recycling service provider that strictly follows standard IT asset disposition & e-waste recycling procedures and responsible recycling practices to prevent any sort of data and privacy breaches. This way you will prevent the misuse of your cell phone’s data and also protect the environment from harmful materials.
If you are looking forward to sell your used telecom equipment, you can contact Telecom Recycle, which is a leading telecom and IT asset recycling & Disposition Company in the United States. It is well-known for its fast and fair liquidation services.