Used cell phones are great, especially when you are traveling overseas. It is much cheaper to buy a used cell phone in the US and then go travel abroad. Cell phones are much more expensive in Europe (and the rest of the world).

Many of our overseas buddies probably have sold their used cell phones many times over – it is a practice that is catching on in North America as well.

Before you make your $50 on E-Bay for that old Nokia, beware. Your cell phone might not be as clean as you think as this Aussie article points out.

A company, Trust Digital of McLean, Va., bought 10 phones on eBay this summer to test phone-security tools it sells for businesses. The phones all were fairly sophisticated models capable of working with corporate e-mail systems.

Curious software experts at Trust Digital resurrected information on nearly all the used phones.

Some of the information that these hackers..uh, I mean, engineers to get off of the phones:

  • One company’s plans to win a multimillion-dollar federal transportation contract.
  • Bank accounts and passwords.
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Not to mention…text messages as well!

So how do you get all of that juicy information completely cleaned before you sell it to someone else?

Some phone have a “zero-out reset” but those are only the higher-up Treo-ish types of cells. Business people with fancy pocket phones can attempt to put in the wrond password 10+ times. After the 11th attempt on many phones, it will give you a mind message telling you everything has been wiped.

Other regular people out there with Nokias and Motorolla Razor phones?

You’ve got to check the fine print in the instruction manual. Nokia has good customer service and should get back to you within 24 hours if you send them an email.

If not – used cell phone make great alarm clocks and window smashers.