Is there any info on old sim cards?

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Caduceus
Posts: 1731
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:47 am

Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by Caduceus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:22 am

I have about 8 or 9 old sim cards that date from about 10-15 years ago. Will there be any information on the cards (especially photos) or can I toss them?

Amazon is selling a sim card reader for $33 but if I can be sure that SIM cards don't store any photos or text messages, I don't care about old contact numbers and I will just toss them all away.

RickBoglehead
Posts: 1180
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:28 am

A quick Google search yields:

A SIM card, also known as a subscriber identity module, is a smart card that stores data for GSM cellular telephone subscribers. Such data includes user identity, location and phone number, network authorization data, personal security keys, contact lists and stored text messages.

No pictures.

Cut them in half.

lazydavid
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by lazydavid » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:03 am

I would (and have) just thrown them away. But if you're worried at all, go ahead and destroy them.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:05 am

In the microwave for 15 seconds.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

ilisira
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:04 pm

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by ilisira » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:52 am

Caduceus wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:22 am
I have about 8 or 9 old sim cards that date from about 10-15 years ago. Will there be any information on the cards (especially photos) or can I toss them?

Amazon is selling a sim card reader for $33 but if I can be sure that SIM cards don't store any photos or text messages, I don't care about old contact numbers and I will just toss them all away.
You can cut them. If you want to really destroy them, and can find a phone to use them in (don't forget, SIM physical format had changed a number of times since inception), you can always enter the PIN three times, cause the SIM to lock itself, and ask for a PUK, or even enter the PUK wrong multiple times for SIM to reset.

Before doing this though, you need to enter a new PIN if it's not enabled on those cards. Any phone will allow you to this. Still cutting will be much more fun.

Caduceus
Posts: 1731
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:47 am

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by Caduceus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:59 am

Ahh, sorry, I think I wasn't clear in my original post. I'm not worried about other people accessing the information in my SIM cards. There's definitely nothing sensitive in there. What I meant was, is there a possibility that there are photos on it (from a long time ago) that I might actually want to save for myself?

If so, I might just get a reader to see if there are any old photos worth pulling from the SIM card.

These are sim cards from a long, long time ago, so not like the more recent tiny ones. Some of them are huge. 8-)

bob60014
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Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by bob60014 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:34 am

No photos, those are stored in the phones memory or SD card.

lazydavid
Posts: 1885
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by lazydavid » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:36 am

There are not photos. The maximum capacity of a SIM card per the spec is 256kB. In practice, I've never seen one that's larger than 64kB, and ones as old as you have might be as small as 8kB.

runner3081
Posts: 1710
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Post by runner3081 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:39 am

GSM Cards = Yes
CDMA (Verizon, etc) = No Data

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