Before You Recycle That Cell Phone…Today’s wireless phones hold a tremendous amount of data: names, phone numbers, photos, text messages and more - just ask anyone who has ever lost one! For this reason, it’s important to take the time to "clean" your phone before donating or recycling it.
Experts recommend manually deleting stored information and also removing the SIM card from the phone. The owner’s manual (if you still have it) may provide specific information on deleting data. Recellular, a dealer of used cell phones, offers a free "data eraser" guide targeted specifically to the make and model of your phone. Another option is to seek help from your wireless provider’s customer service department. For more information, see the FTC’s consumer alert "411 on Disposing of Your Old Cell Phone" and PC Magazine’s Tips for Deleting Your Old Cell Phone Data.
Where to Recycle:
The wireless industry is helping people recycle phones through their webpage, recyclewirelessphones.com. Here you can find a list of participating members with information on take-back programs.
Of course, many charities accept cell phones as well. Ask around to find one, or use this page to find a donation box near you.
(Wisconsin State Law Library - Tech Tip in Brief – Heidi Yelk, March 2010)