Mobile phone and recycling and reuse provider Regenersis said that it processed more than two million handsets for reuse and recycling last year.
The company processed 2,007,652 phones, with all cleared of data and fully tested.
The company also studied a sample of 2,000 handsets processed during the first week in December but found that 99 per cent of those contained personal data, including contacts, text messages, pictures, music, video, calendar entries, emails, notes, mailing lists and to do lists.
In some cases bank details, addresses and confidential emails were still present.
Regenersis managing director Mark Franklin said: “Data clearance of these handsets is critical to ensure the security of those who entrust their unwanted mobiles to us. This can often take as long as 30 minutes depending on the complexity of the handset, so only the most reputable firms bother to do this essential work.
“Our advice to consumers is to check with the recycling firm to confirm that all data will be removed. If it isn’t, then think twice before sending them your handset as your data could end up in the wrong hands.”
Regersis said that whilst it ensures all data is erased from phones, consumers are reminded to erase sensitive data before they dispose of their mobile.