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ITAD for mobile devices: Three common data deletion misconceptions

This article has been contributed by Mark Dobson, ITAD Specialist at NextUse


ITAD for Mobile Devices

When you’re about to retire dozens or hundreds of your employees’ mobile devices, you don’t want the company data stored on them to end up in the hands of your competitors or criminals.

“Companies tend to overlook IT asset disposition as their mobile devices reach end-of-life,” according to Jeff Londres, founder and CEO of NextUse, a certified data destruction specialised ITAD company. “This not only puts them at risk of a data breach, but it also means their assets lose residual value from resale.  Cell phone values drop the older a model gets, but they may still be worth decent money even going back several versions.”

ITAD for mobile devices

ITAD for mobile devices: Resetting to factory settings and pulling the SIM or SD card for NOT delete company data.

Here are three commonly misused steps that will NOT wipe the data off those devices:

1. Reset the phone to factory settings

  • This doesn’t actually erase any data, it simply removes your ability to see and access it, just like the way reformatting a hard drive on a desktop or laptop computer clears the File Allocation Table (FAT)
  • The data can be retrieved by recovery software
  • Data on SD cards and SIM is not affected
  • Numerous studies have shown the ineffectualness of this method

2. Pull the SIM card

  • The SIM stores subscriber information to enable communication between the phone and its carrier
  • It only contains up to 128 KB of memory to store things like contacts, phone numbers, text messages, data usage and billing information

3. Pull the Secure Digital micro (SD) card expansion memory

  • This only eliminates the data stored on the SD card.
  • It leaves all the data stored on the device’s internal flash memory storage, which can range from eight to 256 gigabytes

Remember, underestimating the significance of data loss from mobile devices can put your company at risk of an expensive data breach costing an average of almost $4 million globally, and almost $8 million in the US.


This article has been contributed by Mark Dobson, ITAD Specialist at NextUse

ITAD for Mobile Devices

Mark Dobson, NextUse

Mark Dobson is an accomplished information technology expert with over two decades of experience in the sales and marketing of IT hardware, software, and services, and copywriting.

Mark is a lifelong IT savant who understands the business benefits and positioning of current and cutting-edge technologies and how they enable organisations to increase market share and boost revenue.

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