If you have a cell phone, you basically have a hand-held computer designed for a specific task. As such, that mobile computer does things that generate data – data that is stored somewhere on the phone’s internal mechanisms. The interesting thing is that this data can be recovered fairly easily.
It’s interesting to do an Internet search on cell phone data retrieval products. Do you know what you’ll find? You’ll find dozens of companies offering software and hardware devices capable of getting all sorts of data off cell phones. Even if the user believes that data has been deleted.
How Data Retrieval Is Possible
What most people do not understand about their cell phones is that they are anything but what we traditionally view as a telephone. In other words, consider what telephones used to be before the introduction of cellular technology.
In the old days, a telephone was a simple electrical device that carried voice signals from one end of a communication line to the other. There was no data necessary above and beyond the voice signal. Therefore, the only way someone would know the details of a phone conversation would be to actually listen in on it. Furthermore, there would be no way to have access to call logs unless they were retrieved from the phone company.
With cellular technology, that’s no longer the case. Every time a person uses his smart phone, the device generates data that is stored. On older phones, the data is stored on the SIM card mounted inside the phone near the battery. Newer phones store the data on the embedded RAM.
Data Never Truly Deleted
A second thing most people are unaware of is the fact that when a phone user deletes data, it is not truly deleted. That’s what makes cell phone spying possible. In other words, you may think you have deleted all the text messages from your phone but, in fact, all you’ve actually done is remove the memory markers in the telephone indicating where in storage the messages are located.
With the right piece of software, those messages can still be retrieved as long as they haven’t been overwritten. Obviously, every smart phone has a limited storage capacity, which eventually results in old data being overwritten. However, it’s only overwritten by new data that can be just as easily retrieved.
What types of data can be retrieved? Here are just a few examples:
- dates and times of calls
- call durations
- text messages sent and received
- e-mails sent and received
- physical location of a phone.
Simply put, if your phone records data, it can be retrieved with the right software. What’s more, the software and tools necessary for cell phone data retrieval are fairly inexpensive. Using BrickHouse Security as an example, their entry-level product is just under $70.
A Multitude of Uses
The ability to retrieve cell phone data opens the door to a variety of possibilities. Small business owners, for example, might use the tools for legitimate cell phone monitoring of all company-owned phones. The law allows for such uses under certain parameters.
Parents may use the technology to make sure their children are obeying the family rules for cell phone use. Some parents may choose devices with more advanced features that include GPS tracking in real-time. They might do so to make sure their children are always where they are supposed to be.
Other uses include keeping track of elderly parents, making sure one is traceable when going out on hiking or camping trips, or even just tracking a phone if it has been lost or stolen. The possibilities are almost endless.