Feeds

Half of us have old phones STUFFED in our drawers

Other half are presumably just glad to see you

High performance access to file storage

Fifty-five per cent of Brits have an old handset or two lying about the place, as despite the charities happy to recycle them we're surprisingly reluctant to let them go.

Quite why we won't give up our old hardware isn't clear, but figures from Comscore put more than 28 million of them knocking around with more than 12 per cent of us hoarding at least four handsets each. Mobile security outfit Lookout asked 1,900 people why, and found a quarter don't know what else to do, one in 10 wants access to their old apps, and another quarter are worried about their data turning up elsewhere.

Lookout can help with the last lot, obviously, but the others present a problem. Modern smartphone platforms support the idea of app mobility - the user buys the apps and then runs on them on whatever hardware they happen to have handy - but that's quite a recent innovation so not everyone's Snake high score is going to transfer that easily.

There's little to be done for those who don't know what to do with old phones, as charities and businesses both advertise heavily and most mobile shops will take handsets to be passed on to a suitable charity. Such handsets usually end up in the developing world, where a mobile can be a (literal) lifeline, and few of them are thrown away.

Those with children can pass them on generationally, which has the added advantage of destroying them utterly in good time, though the potential risk of data exposure is much greater (having one's children find that video is worse than it turning up in a Nairobi village, though as both are connected to YouTube it's not that different).

Handsets which have been properly reset rarely give up data to a cursory glance, though forensic expects equipped with the right software can extract some files beyond then depending on the platform (short version: BlackBerry = no, everything else = yes), but it’s the uncertainty which seems to put people off.

Sitting in a draw is probably better than being in landfill - things in draws are unlikely to leak toxic chemicals into the environment. But letting someone else use them is preferable and there might be a few quid in it too (for the owner, or a charity), which has got to be a good thing. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.