Mobile security firm Lookout has just released the results of a study that shows that 62% of American families have at least one old smartphone
lying around. 11% of American families have four or more old handsets doing nothing but collecting dust. In case you are interested, if you put all of those handsets end to end, they would reach from San Francisco to the North Pole and back. The average mobile phone owner has $160 worth of old handsets that are retired.
Do you have a BlackBerry Storm lying around?
Why do Americans keep their old mobile phones lying around? Part of the reason might be that people just don't know what to do with their old phones. Perhaps there is a fear that someone would grab the handset from the trash and be able to get personal information from it. Or maybe there is information on the old device that you don't have saved elsewhere.
If you have cellphones in your home that you don't need anymore, you can donate them to Cell Phones for Soldiers
, an organization that provides free communications service to active members of the military and veterans. Another solution is Verizon's HopeLine
, which donates used handsets to victims of domestic violence.
If you do plan on either donating or trashing an old cellphone, Lookout suggests backing up the data
, erasing the phone
and removing the SIM card
, if applicable.
What Americans do with their old handsets