How to Destroy a Phone and its Information

Mobile phones are becoming more and more durable with upgrades from phone manufacturers.

The cases are harder to dent and the screen glass is harder to scratch. Corning, the manufacturer for the phone’s screen glass is already releasing its 6th generation of gorilla glass which will protect phone screens from an average of 15 successive drops.

There is absolutely no doubt that it is harder to leave permanent damage on a phone these days.

Well, why would we want to leave permanent damage to a phone so no data or information can be retrieved from it?

The answer lies in security.

This is because phones and apps have become a very important part of our lives to a point that it has very sensitive information like financial and personal data.

So it’s very important to destroy the areas where information is kept so they become irretrievable if anyone wanted to get their hands on them.

1. Hard Resets

One of the first on the list is doing a hard reset on the phone. This will usually wipe all the information inside the storage of the phone through formatting.

The process is similar to formatting a hard drive of a computer.

The great thing about hard resets is that it can destroy your phone without any physical damage – only the data within the phone with be wiped.

For Android:

  1. Press and hold the volume up and volume down buttons at the same time.
  2. Press and hold the power button until a black menu screen will appear. Volume buttons are used for navigation, the power button is used to select. The touch screen feature, on most occasions, will be disabled.
  3. Select Factory Reset.
  4. Confirm wipe of all user data? Select the Yes option.

The phone will go through a hard reset so you may need to wait a while before you can use it again.

one thing to not forget is to ensure that the phone has enough battery or is plugged in a charger for this to be completed successfully.

For iOS:

  1. iPhones have a different way of doing a factory reset. You need it to go through the DFU mode or the Device Firmware Upgrade mode in order to wipe the user data.
  2. Turn off the iPhone and connect it to your computer. Make sure to open iTunes.
  3. Press and hold the power button for three seconds.
  4. Press and hold the volume down button for ten seconds.
  5. Release the power button but keep the volume down button pressed for five more seconds. The screen should remain blank and your iTunes will prompt “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode”
  6. Click OK on the prompt and then click on “Restore iPhone…” This will format your iPhone and bring it back to factory release conditions.

2. Use a third party app

Apps can also help delete all the files and data of a device. For this step, you would need your computer and the right cable to connect your phone.

For iPhone, you can use iMyFone. It will erase all the information including the deleted information.

For Android, you can use the Android Data Eraser Software.  This software will also erase all the saved data, including the deleted files inside the phone.

3. Overwrite the data and do a factory reset

Security experts say that doing a factory reset may not be enough to securely remove all of the data on a mobile phone.

One good way to do this is to delete all the information inside the device and fill up the storage with random files.

This way, the existing storage will overwrite the information on the device which will render them irretrievable.

Once you’ve done this, you can do another factory reset.

4. Destroy Sim and Removable storage

The next on the list is to remove the sim card and the removable storage like the microSD card. Android phones usually have this.

But before actually removing them, it’s best to go through the phone’s options and delete all the data saved inside these cards. MicroSD cards can also be formatted in order to delete all the information.

Each phone would have a different method of removing the sim card and the removable storage so once you’ve managed to do that, break them into tiny little pieces.

Afterward, toss them in different bins so it’ll be difficult to find the pieces and put them back together.

Although there is a very low chance of people actually going through the trouble, the method will keep your mind at ease.

5. Destroy the Phone into Little Pieces

This method takes things one level higher. With a heavy tool, like a hammer, in your hand, smash the phone into bits and pieces.

This will make it extremely difficult, near to impossible, to recover information and data from this piece of hardware.

Please use a controlled space and protective eyewear before starting.

Make sure that you are thorough and get to the inner portions of the phone.

6. NAND Flash Storage

Android Phones use NAND Flash Storage. Another secure way to destroy the phone so no data can ever be retrieved is to find the NAND flash storage on the phone’s motherboard.

Smartphones are like computers in the sense that they also use memory, storage, and other types of circuitry.

If you are bent on destroying the phone and data, find your way into the phone by removing the covers, the screen, and its other parts. You’ll come to the board and a small black chip will be there.

7. Logic Board

For iPhones, the logic board will hold all of the data and device information. When you manage to open the phone, you’ll need to look for the logic board which holds all the chips and the phone’s processor.

Once you’ve located this, the process of permanently damaging the phone and its data will be easy.

Bottom Line

In most cases, the hardware of the phone need not suffer for data to become permanently irretrievable.

However, for the purpose of personal security completely destroying a phone can be relatively easy.

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