Millions and millions of Aussies get a new phone every year.  Depending on who you ask that number is as high as six or seven million – which begs the question, what we are we doing with our old phones?

Turns out, far too many are being left in the second drawer because we’re worried about our data – your photos, text messages, emails – what if someone sees them?

New research from Mobile Muster the Aussie team behind our biggest mobile recycling program shows that two thirds of us have that concern about our data and it’s holding us back from handing down our old phones.

Hand-me-downs aren’t a new thing, we love it, as a kid plenty of second or third children copped the jumpers and shirts from their older brother or sister, clothes are our most handed down item, ahead of toys, books, baby items and then Mobile Phones.

Spyro Kalos from Mobile Muster, said: “We’re a hand-me-down nation, but unlike other items, we keep a lot of personal data on our mobile phones. Keeping our data secure is fundamental to everyone which is why we need to feel comfortable that we’ve removed all our data before passing it on.

“Our findings also show that removing data can be too much hassle for many of us. This factor, combined with a worry about others accessing their personal info, is leading many people to hold on rather than handover their old phones. Based on these findings, we’ve launched a campaign to educate people on how to easily transfer and remove data so they can give their phones a new lease of life.”

And this is prime time of the year with loads of people upgrading off contracts and in the lead up to Christmas.

You don’t have to recycle your phone, it’s just one of many options.  Handing it down to a family member or friend, and of course making money selling it.

And let’s face it, you don’t need it any more – the research from Mobile Muster shows 79% of Australians say that it makes them happy to give away items that someone else will enjoy – so why not get that joy!

Here’s what you need to know before you find your phone’s second life.

  • Backup – My advice is to sign up to a great cloud service like Google where you can backup all your photos, retain all your emails and your contacts.  Another option is to use services like Samsung Smart Switch or Apple’s Move to iOS apps to get your new phone feeling like the old one.  Do that and you’re new phone is up and running.
  • Remove Accounts – Then on your old phone, jump into the settings and remove your Facebook, Twitter, Email accounts – this disconnects them at both the phone and service end, so you don’t have any issues moving forward.
  • Reset – Finally, again, in the settings of every phone is a “Reset” function, this wipes all your data, resets the device like brand new for the next user.


Here’s a couple of quick videos from Mobile Muster if you wanted a walk-through guide:

How to manage the data on your phone (iOS) from MobileMuster on Vimeo.

How to manage the data on your phone (Android) from MobileMuster on Vimeo.