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  • Laura L. Isaacs

Why Dispose of Smartphones and Credit Cards the Same Way?

What holds the keys to your identity and fits into the palm of your hand? If you’re like most people, the answer is likely within reach: Your smartphone.

In fact, a smartphone can be more valuable than a credit card or the balance of your checking account. Not only does the device likely contain access to your credit and debit cards through tools like Apple Wallet or Samsung Pay, but your smartphone contains personal passwords, identifying (and potentially damaging) photos, personal information and more. And if your personal device happened to wind up in a lost and found department, you’d likely hope for the device to be disposed of properly to keep your information secure and your identity safe.

Selling unclaimed smartphones in your business’s lost and found department at auction or to a vendor without ensuring the devices are properly secured and personal data has been cleared fails to afford your customers the comfort and safety you’d expect for yourself when dealing with a lost smartphone. All of today's personal electronic devices contain some sort of personal information, including financial and other identifying data, which could harm the owner should it fall into the wrong hands. Anyone who operates a lost and found department must take their role in protecting customers’ identities very seriously.

More American adults own smartphones than use credit cards. The Pew Research Center reports that 77 percent of American adults have smartphones, while reports that only 70 percent of adults have one or more credit cards. When credit cards end up in your lost and found department, they are likely shredded. Disposing of unclaimed smartphones properly extends the same courtesy and respect required to keep your customers’ data secure and their identities safe.

You obviously can’t run a smartphone through a shredder like a credit card, but you can take steps to make sure the data on the device is secure. The most important thing you can do to protect your customers’ identities is make certain that all unclaimed smartphones and personal electronic devices are disposed of through a reputable organization that takes privacy and security as seriously as you do. For information about how to securely dispose of unclaimed devices call us at 866-290-7864 or email us at

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