Before you trash that phone, read this

Mar 16, 2009 By Chuck Myers

If you own a cell phone, at some point you're likely to upgrade to a newer model. But what should you do with your old phone?

Consumers have several options available when it comes to disposing an old cell . You can trash it, recycle it, donate it to a charity, even resell it.

No matter what you do with your old phone, though, remove all the sensitive that resides on it. This includes erasing passwords, , call lists, account numbers, voice mails, text messages, photos, medical data and any other you want to keep out of the hands of strangers, particularly identity thieves.

Permanent data deletion requires removing the memory, or subscriber identity module (SIM) card from the phone. An owner's manual, your wireless provider's Web site or the phone's manufacturer may also contain information on how to permanently delete information from a mobile phone - and even how to transfer information to a new device before deletion.

Another good place to find out about data deletion is the ReCellular Web site (www.recellular.com/recycling/data_eraser/default.asp). ReCelluar, a company that recycles and resells used cell phones, features a manufacturer and model search on its site that allows visitors to access deletion instructions for specific types.

Once you've removed data from a cell phone, you can take the next step - disposal.

After you have purged the phone of data, throwing it away may not be your best option. Cell phones contain batteries and heavy metals, which if they end up in a landfill, could pose an environmental hazard. The (EPA) recommends first checking with your local health and sanitation agencies for proper disposal guidelines, before tossing an old cell phone in the garbage.

___

(c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Technology and data analytics should transform municipal government, professors say

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EPA promotes cell phone recycling

Jan 08, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has teamed up with cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers to promote cell phone recycling.

Cell Phone Calls Via Fixed-line Networks, Via Bluetooth

Mar 18, 2005

In the future, cell phone users will be able to use Bluetooth to telephone at home via fixed-line networks. At CeBIT, Siemens was demonstrating the solution on a cell phone to show how access to an ISDN fixed-line ...

Recommended for you

HP supercomputer at NREL garners top honor

2 hours ago

A supercomputer created by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that uses warm water to cool its servers, and then re-uses that water to heat its building, has been ...

Turner channels removed from Dish amid pact spat

2 hours ago

Channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are no longer part of Dish's programming lineup as a deadline has passed for the satellite TV provider and Turner Broadcasting to renew their distribution agreement.

Google's streaming music service adds mood to mix

2 hours ago

Google's music-subscription service will try to anticipate its listeners' mood swings as it amplifies its competition with Pandora, Spotify and other popular services that play tunes over the Internet.

User comments : 0