Are You Aware of What You’re Leaving on That Sim CardThe good old factory reset has done enough for you to get rid of that old phone, right? NOTHING could be less true! And that could be enough to bring your business, your marriage or your financial life down for good.

Let me explain.

So many people are willing to donate – or sell – their old phones when the newest version arrives on their doorstep.

The cellphone expert here at knows that all he has to do is run a little sim card forensics and he can collect all sorts of data from that donated phone. And it’s not just a jumble of code, no, it’s phone numbers, names, messages and personal information.

There was a blog post we stumbled across online where a man had purchased a bag of sim cards and using a cheap reader, he extracted a bunch of data. He was having a field day calling numbers and throwing people into a panic.

Now this guy is not a cell phone forensic investigator and the information he extracted was in no way considered forensic cellular evidence quality, but the fact is that leaving a sim card in an old phone opens the door for you to be victimized in some way – or the people you have connected with to be victimized.

While sim forensics conducted by a cellular phone forensics investigator are infinitely more exacting, and would be gathered and preserved using established protocols for preservation of evidence, it’s just like anything else. In the hands of amateurs and bad guys, your information is valuable and vulnerable.

It’s possible that you end up providing a cell phone spy for someone looking to steal identities. You could also be providing a cellphone witness to open up a former period in your life. Maybe a previous relationship or marriage, and doing so could impact a current relationship.

Or, worse, cellphone records that illuminate account numbers or business details that could cost you your life savings or damage your business.

The only way to absolutely ensure that data from a sim card is never released and used against you is to completely destroy the sim card. Use a hammer and break all the wires. Set it aflame. Use shears to cut it up. It has to be completely destroyed. Even some slightly damaged SIM cards can be read.

So do yourself a favor. Take the sim card out of every device before you donate or sell it. You’ll be glad you did – or at least you won’t have to worry.

-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations