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Removing Personal Information From Cell Phones

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Removing Personal Information from Cell Phones

Over half of second-hand mobile phones still contain personal information from their previous owners. Without wiping out your personal information correctly, you are vulnerable to exploiting easy access to identity theft/fraud. If you are thinking of selling an old cell phone, it is in your best interest to securely remove your personal data entirely from the phone you are selling or giving away. The list below shows you just a few personal information locations you need to check on your phone before selling or giving them away.





Email Attachments

Phone Logs


SMS messages


Voice Notes and Recordings



According to the data security firm CPP, 81 percent of previous owners claim they have wiped personal data from their mobile phones and SIM cards before selling them. On-the-other hand, deleting the information manually is “a process that security experts acknowledge leaves the data intact and retrievable”.

What can you do?

When it comes to the point of disposing your cell phone, it is very important for you to do the following:

-Restore all factory settings: Can be found from help provided by your mobile network.

-Delete all back-up files you have created

-Log out of all social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, applications,   emails and company networks.

-Use different passwords on multiple systems

-Check bank statements regularly for suspicious transactions.


Instructions on How to Delete Your Personal Information

Check your Cell Phone Manual: It seems quite easy, and that’s because it is. All you need to do is check your owner’s manual for index items similar to “reformat device” or “delete data.” It is a quick solution to taking a step towards erasing your data.

Check your Cell Phone Carrier’s Website: Many cell phone companies have plenty of information on their site. For example, Sprint has an abundant amount of information that can be read on the site.  You should type a relevant text in the search box of the cell phone carrier’s website. You are likely to find a factory reset tutorial.

Who is stealing this information?

It is very easy for identity theft or fraud to occur if cell phone personal information is not deleted properly. However, thieves today are focusing on new account fraud and stealing from people they know. It is very important to keep all security and password information to yourself and always know where your cell phone is. It is most important to trust whoever uses your cell phone. For example, when you sign up for online banking, you may be asked to select a security picture to recover your password and name it. If the picture is a blue flower, it is likely that you would name it blue or blue flower. It is not difficult for an individual to bypass your security questions. It is best to make irrelevant passwords to the picture. For instance, name the blue flower photo with the name pink tree.

What do you have to lose?

When it comes to victim losses, there may include enduring costs to clear up identity theft. You may also be responsible for covering some of the charges incurred by thieves. 


about the author

More about Megan Scheuher:
Megan Scheuher Megan Scheuher is a 20 year old student at Western Michigan University, graduating in June of 2011 with a focus in Electronic Business Design. She enjoys long walks on the beach and amusement parks. There is nothing better to her than spending time with loved ones and her Husky/Malamute mix puppy, Duke.

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