There is a lot of news lately about the lasting presence of what people do on the internet and social media. It seems many people are just waking up to the fact that the pictures they post and things they share on the internet are public and long-lasting.
Just pressing delete doesn’t mean something disappears forever.
An issue not as well known, yet possibly more troubling, is the electronic data trail people and businesses are also leaving. Instead of just pictures on the internet, this trail includes confidential and private financial information on old cell phones, tablets, and computers.
The threat to this data is not just from stolen passwords or computer hackers. It’s the result of incomplete data-wiping when old electronic devices are sold or refurbished.
In the last few years there have been a number of well publicized examples of how the data on electronic devices has been resold, lost, or stolen in situations where the previous owner of the device had a reasonable expectation to think their data was securely removed.
And, the technology being used to recover the data is publicly available and legal to use.
Did you know that in many cases data stays on your computer even after you empty your recycle bin, until the computer needs that disk space and over writes it?
The point is to make sure when you are selling or disposing of an old device you take the right precautions to make sure all of your confidential personal or business data is completely wiped from it.
Don’t trust that the company you give the device to will do it right. Get proof, not promises.
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