SIM cards store data for mobile network users. Generally, a SIM stores network information, phone number, and user identity that is necessary for the proper functioning of your network connection. It is important to note that this information is sensitive and should be well protected. If you plan to throw your old SIM card out for some reason, don’t do so without deleting the information on it or damaging/destroying it. We’ll show you how to dispose of a SIM card properly.
Your SIM card in the wrong hands may prove to be catastrophic to you. Many people just break the SIM card into two pieces with their bare hands and think it is enough which is not necessarily sufficient. In this article, we will tell you the proper ways to prevent misuse of your SIM card through electronic and physical means.
Why dispose of an unwanted SIM card?
SIM card trashing is different from cell phone trashing or recycling. As the SIM card holds your crucial personal information, it becomes very necessary to dispose it of properly to prevent theft of that data. You can erase the data from the SIM card, but if done improperly, your confidential data may be at risk. If you just throw away the SIM card in the garbage bin, somebody with SIM card-related technical knowledge may misuse your data.
There have been many cases where scammers use such SIM cards to do illegal activities in the name of the true owner. Many people have no idea how severe crimes can be performed by a single SIM card. Hence, the destruction of data on the SIM card is the only safe thing to protect your private information.
1. Erase the data on your SIM card
There is an option to erase data in all Android phones as well as iPhones. However, remember that it doesn’t guarantee the data on your SIM card is permanently deleted. Many times, even if you managed to delete some information, most data remains untouched, and the rest is in a recoverable state. This leads you to be at the risk of potential identity theft.
There are many third-party apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store that erase data permanently in an irrecoverable form. When you use such apps, you increase the chances of perpetrators failing to dig up anything. The only method that directly affects the data on a SIM card is software installed on your PC, Mac, or Linux. However, for this to work, you will need to have a SIM card reader and writer. After inserting your SIM, you can use the software to shred all its information.
2. Physically damage the SIM card
If you are not tech-savvy enough to use software to delete the SIM card data, there is nothing to worry about. You can damage the SIM card physically, as the SIM card is not going to be of any use to you anyway. When you destroy a SIM card, make sure the golden chip is demolished. You can incinerate it or hammer it down until it is unusable.
Cut it into pieces with a sturdy pair of scissors or use an office shredder which you use to shred cards and other data-related items like CDs and floppies. Don’t give it to anyone else, though. Do it in front of your eyes to be sure it is not used before the destruction. Always remember that the damage to the plastic portion isn’t useful. It is the golden chip that must be destroyed.
Things to avoid while disposing of SIM cards
There are several techniques used to destroy SIM cards that are very common but not so effective. One such method is submerging the SIM card in water. It is important to remember that many SIM cards are waterproof, hence this method won’t work effectively. However, emerging the SIM card in salty water will undoubtedly corrode the SIM card microchip if left in it for a long time. Breaking the SIM card with bare hands into two pieces may not work as well if only the plastic part is broken, but not the microchip. Once again, the focus should be to break the chip instead of the plastic part, i.e., the rim.