62% of Americans Hoarding Old Cellphones

December 5, 2012

If you have a collection of outdated cellphones hanging around the house, you’re not alone. About 62% of US households have at least one mobile phone that lays around not in use.

A report from mobile security platform Lookout reveals consumers are holding on to old cellphones largely because they don’t know what to do with them. Reasons for latching on include not knowing how to dispose (27%), being concerned about personal data getting out (13%), not having erased data (17%) and still wanting to access information and apps (6%). In some cases, households have four or more old mobile phones (10%) they aren’t using.

“People are concerned about the personal information living on the device, and we suspect it contributes to why people are still holding on to it,” said Jenny Roy, mobile safety advocate at Lookout. “Before you donate, resell or recycle your phone, it’s important to take steps to remove the data so if your phone gets a new owner, your information doesn’t get exposed.”

For those that take the step to discard unused phones, about 52% said they donate them to charitable causes. Meanwhile, about 22% trade or sell them for money and 14% recycle or throw them out.

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