Let's face it, when it comes to cell phones, they never build them "like they used to." Cell phones are fragile devices. We carry them in our pockets, we throw them against the wall when they drop calls, and sometimes we even jump in the pool with reckless disregard for our mobile communications device. But perhaps the most devastating thing to happen to cell phones has nothing to do with crushing, or impact or water.
Age is the natural enemy of the cell phone.
Whether the flip phone doesn't quite have that old snap anymore or that inch-thick pre-Razor phone isn't quite cutting it, cell phones get old and are replaced like clockwork. And why not? Most new phones are cheap, and many are sold at or near a loss by service providers looking to lock subscribers into a multi-year contract. While you're enjoying your new LG Chocolate phone, have you given any thought to what's become of your old ugly and/or broken phone?
Have you given any thought to what might have been on that phone you wouldn't necessarily want falling into the wrong hands?
Multiple news sources, including CNN, reported today that tiny software programs available over the Internet are able to recover data from old cell phones, even if the phone has been restored to factory default settings and the files erased.
According to CNN, one company, called Trust Digital of McLean, Virginia, bought 10 used cell phones and was able to retrieve thousands of pages worth of data from the phones, all of which had been "reset" prior to sale. Trust Digital recovered files about government contracts, employee information, and even banking information.
Now that you know to be careful with your old cell phones, the irony of today's news is that CNN placed another article online, right below the warning article.
This second article discusses a company called ReCellular, a company that recycles old cell phones so they can be reused in third world countries. Now, you have to decide exactly what to do. One article says you can't be too careful, another says old cell phones are vital to developing nations.
You be the judge.