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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Delete Sensitive Information on your Cell Phone

Many people sell their old cell phones on eBay after upgrading to a new one, but they don't realize that the e-mails and text messages that they've received aren't completely erased. The flash memory used in cell phones is slow to completely erase data so manufacturers have speeded it up by bypassing complete erasure. Here's how to completely erase the data from your phone:

For a new Blackberry, there should be an erasure program included.

1. On the handheld, click Options.
2. Click Security.
3. At main menu, press the trackwheel, and then click Wipe Info.

For a Treo 650 or Tunsten T5, to perform a "zero out reset", you're going to
need to hold down three buttons simultaneously while pressing a fourth on in the backof the phone. Specifically, hold Power, UP and HotSync, and press and release the RESET button on the back panel of your device.

Trivia: President Bush's former cybersecurity adviser, Howard Schmidt, carried up to four phones and e-mail devices -- and said he was always careful with them. To sanitize his older Blackberry devices, Schmidt would deliberately type his password incorrectly 11 times, which caused data on them to self-destruct.


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