Data theft warning over old phones

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People disposing of old mobile phones are putting themselves at risk of identity theft by failing to wipe them of personal data.

Second-hand mobile phones and SIM cards purchased by life assistance company CPP were examined and found to include company information and log-in details to social networking sites like Facebook, phone numbers, and even credit and debit card PIN numbers, bank account details and passwords.

And nearly half, 46 per cent, of second-hand mobile owners in Sheffield said they had found a previous owner’s personal information, a survey showed.

But identity thieves need only a few personal details.

CPP’s tips on wiping your mobile phone are: restore all factory settings, remove your SIM card and destroy it, delete back-ups, log out of all social networking sites, emails, wireless connections, company networks and applications and then delete the password and connection, and monitor bank statements after selling your phone on.