We have become so dependent on electronic gadgets in our lives, that we do not pay any attention to what sort of data we store in these devices. Take for instance, our mobile phones. They are not just used for calling and speaking with someone else. They are usually the primary gadget of our mobile lives. We carry them around everywhere and use them for email or text messages, looking up the weather or news, store information on all our contacts in them, etc. Going by my experience, these phones typically have a life of between 12 and 18 months. They either stop working properly or become obsolete and then people want the next big thing on the market.
Erasing vs. Deleting data
Before throwing away your phone, take a few minutes to ensure that all your data is erased from the device. Erasing is not just deleting. Deleting can still leave traces of your data in the phone’s memory that can fall into the wrong hands. You need to wipe it completely from your device. How do you do it? Here are the steps if you own a Windows Mobile phone.
Restore to factory state
WARNING: Download/sync all the data from your phone before you do this. You will lose everything on the phone.
- Click on the Start menu and select Settings
- You should see an item called “Clear Storage”
- Double click that item to run it
- The program will prompt you to enter “1234” in the textbox and press “yes”
- Do that and in a few minutes, the phone will return to factory status
Almost every phone has some version of the wipe feature and you should use it to erase all your data before disposing your device.
The recellular website has a page that will let you select your phone brand and model and email you instructions on how to erase your data. This requires you to submit your name and email for them to send you the instructions.