Wireless Mobility Horror Story: Don’t Trust Your Data with Just Any Cell Phone Buyback and Recycling Company

Halloween is full of stories about ghouls and ghosts that send a shiver down your spine and make you keep the closet light on at night, but at e-Cycle, we’ve found that a data security breach is even more frightening for a business. The average mobile data breach last year accounted for loses exceeding $500,000 for large businesses and $100,000 for companies with less than 1,000 employees.

Many companies are unaware that a data breach can happen during end-of-life management. To recoup a business’ investment and protect the environment, it’s imperative that mobile technologies like cell phones and tablets are recycled. However, trusting just any recycler can compromise your sensitive data.

To prove the dangers associated with choosing the wrong recycler, we would like to share a true mobile security horror story that is sure to keep you up at night:

A few years ago JoAnn Bishop of Los Angeles received a refurbished cell phone. After synching her new phone to her computer, she noticed 300 additional contacts in her phonebook and someone else’s appointments on her calendar. As she continued to scour the phone she was horrified to find the same persons’ insurance information, credit card numbers, user names, passwords and pin codes in the notes section.

Being an honest person, she immediately returned the cell phone, and after being assured this was an isolated incident, she accepted a replacement device. Shockingly, this cell phone also came equipped with someone else’s personal information.

David Levi King and Bassem Megally were the original owners of these cell phones, respectively. Both later reported that they had deleted the information from their phones before turning them in.

King and Megally probably did try to delete the data on their cell phone by performing a factory reset. Unfortunately, factory resets leave data stored in cell phones’ hidden menus, which can cause irreparable harm to a business.

Partnering with a wireless buyback company that does not make data security a top priority is very scary. Practices that indicate a recycler provides exceptional data security include:

  • Testing for active phone lines – A serious data risk and results in unnecessary charges
  • e-Stewards certification – That have specific data security transparency requirements
  • Device-specific wiping processes – Both automated and manual
  • Quality assurance testing – To ensure all of the data has been removed
  • Third party, forensic auditing of sanitized devices – To validate their data removal processes
  • High security, lock down facilities and employee background screenings

Choosing a cell phone buyback vendor that provides these services will allow you to rest easier knowing your business will not be featured in e-Cycle’s next mobile security horror story.

————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

How to Protect the Private Data on Your Cell Phone

Modern smartphones house a goldmine of private information, from contacts and pin numbers to photographs and emails. Taking simple preventative measures while you own the device and when choosing a secure cell phone buyback and recycling company, is imperative to safeguarding your sensitive mobile data.

Approximately 113 cell phones are lost or stolen every minute in the U.S.—that is 162,720 per day! To prevent your sensitive data from being accessed during use or in the event your cell phone is lost or stolen, consider taking the following simple mobile security measures:

  1. Keep Security Software Current. Make sure your mobile device has the latest security software, web browser and operating system installed.
  2. Lock Your Phone. Use a password to lock your cell phone. Strong passwords are longer than five characters and contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. You can change the normal four digit pin codes typically found on iPhones and other devices to accept more advanced security passwords.
  3. Think Before You App. Review the privacy policy and understand what data (location, social networks, etc.) an app can access before downloading. Many times it is accessing the private information of your family, friends and business contacts as well.
  4. Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots. Limit the type of business you conduct on your cell phone while connected to public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Knowledgeable criminals can access your private data without you knowing it. Stick to your 3G or 4G network when in public spaces.
  5. Protect your Wallet. When banking and shopping, be sure the site is security enabled by looking for web addresses beginning with “https://” or “shttp://.” An “Http://” address is not secure and could expose your confidential credit card and banking information to thieves.

There are two crucial things you need to consider when choosing a mobile buyback and/or recycling company.

First, does the wireless recycling company make data security a priority? Find out if they test for active lines and perform data wipes beyond a simple factory reset. Many mobile phones have known vulnerabilities that cause residual data to remain on the device after a factory reset is performed. For example, after a factory reset is performed on an Android, photos and other personal information often remain on the device. Ensure your chosen recycler utilizes multi-step deletion processes and quality assurance checks when removing your data—especially if they purchased your phone for resale.

Second, are they e-Stewards certified? e-Stewards certified recyclers adhere to stringent data security and environmental standards for reusing and recycling electronic devices. They undergo extensive audits to guarantee none of their toxic e-waste is being exported overseas or sent to a landfill.

Taking these precautions during cell phone use and end-of-life management will protect your sensitive mobile data from ending up in the wrong hands. For additional mobile and cyber security tips, visit http://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/resources/.

————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button

e-Cycle Mobile Buyback and Recycling Becomes a Champion for National Cyber Security Awareness Month

NCSAMe-Cycle became a National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) Champion to assist in spreading awareness and the necessary resources for businesses and individuals to stay safe online. This year marks the 10th anniversary of NCSAM, which is celebrated every October.

Under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM has grown exponentially each year in their efforts to reach consumers, businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people across the nation.

The month is divided into themed weeks to help focus on core issues in cyber security. Visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam for resources on how to stay safe online, learn more about NCSAM and how you can get involved.

e-Cycle is dedicated to protecting the mobile data of businesses, government agencies and consumers by offering a secure resource for selling used iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids, iPads and other mobile devices. e-Cycle uses advanced technologies and proprietary data deletion methods to ensure our client’s sensitive mobile data does not end up in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately OEM factory resets do not completely erase all of the private data on a device. Information often remains on hidden menus such as email addresses, phone numbers, photographs and other sensitive information. e-Cycle mobile security department found that:

  • 2% of devices received at e-Cycle have active lines still transmitting data.
  • 55% of devices have SIM cards that contain sensitive information.
  • 1 in 5 devices have SD Memory Cards with access to private files.

For more information on e-Cycle’s industry leading data security, visit http://www.e-cycle.com/how-it-works/data-security/.

—————————————————————————————————

e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

Businesses Request a Quote Button