TL DR: If a device that stores your personal information has reached the end of it’s life, please strongly consider erasing it correctly before recycling or disposing of it.
A security researcher from Rapid7 purchased 85 used pieces of technology to check them for data left behind by their previous owners. 80 of the devices had data still remaining on them.
He was able to uncover the following:
- 214,019 images, 3,406 documents and 148,903 email messages
- 611 email addresses, 50 dates of birth, 41 Social Security numbers, 19 credit-card numbers, six driver’s license numbers and two passport numbers.
For these reasons I wanted to provide a respectful shout out to the following blog post by Josh Frantz of Rapid7:
When our devices have reached the end of their useful life we need to become better at removing our data from them. Please find below recommended guides for Apple iPhones, Google Android device and hard disks (both RAID and simple disk set ups). My thanks to Mr. Josh Frantz for collecting these links within his post.
Hard disks (typically how they are set up):
Hard disks (when used in a RAID configuration):