Privacy For Sale: A Study On Data Security In Used Mobile Devices & Hard Drives

According to Paul Henry, our IT Security Consultant, "One of the more glaring discoveries from our study is that most people attempt in some way or another to delete their data from electronic equipment. But while those deletion methods are common and seem reliable, they aren't always effective at removing data permanently and they don't comply with regulatory standards."

As part of our global data security study with Kroll Ontrack, we examined 122 used mobile devices, hard disk drives and solid state drives that were sold on Amazon, eBay and Here are the top 3 findings from our study:

  • 48 percent of the used hard disk drives and solid state drives contained residual data, while thousands of leftover emails, call logs, texts/SMS/IMs, photos and videos were retrieved from 35 percent of the used mobile devices.
  • A deletion attempt had been made on 57 percent of the mobile devices and 75 percent of the drives that contained residual data.
  • On four of the drives containing residual data, or 11 percent, only a basic delete was performed, meaning that the user simply deleted the file or sent it to the recycle bin. This left 444,000 files exposed.
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What You Will Learn:

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An overview of varying data removal methods on drives and mobile devices and the effectiveness of each

The differences between basic file deletion commands and certified data erasure

Tips on what to do before reselling or buying back used electronics

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