In 2017, there were 79.17 million mobile subscriptions in the UK, across the entire population of 66.04 million people. Most mobile phone users are smartphone users, with the usage rate of smartphones expected to reach 77.21 percent by 2020. These figures give an insight into the growing issue of securely disposing of your old mobile phones. (These figures are exclusive to mobile phones and does not include the number of tablets in the UK).
Removing your information from any mobile device is harder than it seems. Systems are set up to protect us from losing information we need—when we delete a file, we can still get it back. Similarly, others who get your discarded computer or other device can get it back, too.
When we dispose of a device, we risk exposing information to people who should not have it—an improperly disposed of device can contain a wealth of useful information for example family photos or finance information which could be exposed to the criminal world.
What we do to securely dispose of mobile devices at Recycle IT 4U
There are two ways of securely destroying your information, the first is to use a data overwrite software. Recycle IT 4U use White Canyon Wipedrive Mobile. However, for the data overwrite software to be successful the phone must be unlocked, and in addition to this, iPhones need to be clear from being registered with iCloud, iTunes or Find my iPhone. Most of the mobile phones and tablets we receive at Recycle IT 4U are locked in some way and therefore the only option is to physically destroy the item.
Although the exact steps for clearing all information from the mobile phone and tablet is different for each brand and model, the general process is the same.
- Remove the memory card, if the device has one.
- Remove the SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card.
- Under Settings, select Master Reset, Wipe Memory, Erase All Content and Settings, or a similarly worded option. A password might have to be entered, if one has been set.
- Remove the battery, this cannot be destroyed by shredding due to the hazardous chemicals within the battery. In line with Environment Agency regulations, Recycle IT 4U recycles all mobile device batteries.
- Physically destroy the memory card and SIM card, Recycle IT 4U works with Veolia UK, Birmingham, where all memory cards and SIM cards are incinerated. The memory cards and SIM cards are delivered to Veolia UK in our 24 security tracked vehicles, a member of Recycle IT 4U witnesses the load being incinerated. All loads are pre-booked and weighed in prior to acceptance.
- Physically destroy the phone, the phone will be shredded at our Telford site using our HSM 150 HDD shredder which shreds to 40mm.
Many people are not aware that it is very difficult to get inside a smart phone, and even more difficult to get inside a tablet or iPad. Many modern Apple products have never been known for being repair-friendly — Apple glues and locks-down as many pieces as possible to get its devices so sturdy and thin.
This is challenging for our engineers, as some tablets can take up to two hours to open. As the information above explains, the SIM, memory card and battery all have to be removed from all mobile devices before they can be physically destroyed.
Therefore the secure disposal of any mobile devices (phones or tablets) may incur a charge, but this will be a small price to pay for the satisfaction that your mobile data has been securely destroyed.
Please contact us on 01952 580814 for more information on pricing.