Britain Information Commissioner’s Office (also known as ICO) has conducted researches, which discovered that more than one tenth of second hand hard drives contains personal information of the owner, that can be recovered.
These research tests were commissioned by the NCC group. 200 hard drives, 20 USB sticks and 10 cellphones were acquired from internet trading sites at fair prices. These devices were searched for personal data, which can be recovered. The results showed, how much personal info can fall to wrong hands.
While conducting the hard drive disks recovery, 11 percent of the information, that was recovered contained personal information. ICO report says, that almost 37 percent contained non-personal information, and only 38 percent of these devices were cleaned without a trace of information. In addition, 14 percent of the driver weren’t readable because they were too damaged.
Scientists found more than 34 thousand files that contained personal or corporate information- from passports, bank statements, to full bank details, and even family photos. We had seen how dangerous information disposal might be, when details of million bank users were sold on eBay in a hard drive costing 35 pounds.
Never forget – when you’re throwing away your old data storages, computers or laptops – always ensure that they have been wiped securely, to prevent your personal information to be used by the wrong hands. Maybe times will come, when users will understand the benefits of full encryption to their HDD, and safe secure wiping before disposal of any device that contains personal information.