Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

No Shocker: Typical American Household Full of Old Cellphones

A new study by mobile security vendor Lookout finds that 62 percent of American households have at least one old cellphone lying about. Some 10 percent of households have four or more old devices stuffed into a drawer somewhere.

If you put them all together, Lookout says, that’s enough cellphones to stretch from San Francisco to the North Pole and back.

Reasons for hanging on to the redundant phones vary, but they include not knowing what to do with the devices, concerns about security, and the fact that some information remains only on that device.

“We were surprised to learn how many people hold on to old phones,” Lookout mobile safety advocate Jenny Roy said in a statement. “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.”

For those looking to get rid of old devices, there are plenty of options that will put the phone to good use, including programs that donate devices to soldiers or to domestic violence survivors. Lookout recommends taking steps such as backing up the data, erasing the phone, and removing the SIM card.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work