Resold hard drives on eBay, Craigslist are often still ripe with leftover data. Before you throw away that old hard drive, make sure you purge the memory clean. A new study has found that most users are accidentally giving up photos, social security numbers and financial data, by failing to properly delete the files on their recycled hard drives.
Blancco Technology Group, which specializes in data erasure, conducted the study by randomly buying 200 secondhand PC storage drives from eBay and Craigslist. Their goal was to see if the company could recover any of the old data saved inside.
In most cases, it could. 78 percent of the drives contained residual data that could be recovered.
Over half of the drives, at 67 percent, still held personal files, such as photos with location indicators, resumes and financial data. If fallen into the wrong hands, the data could be used for identity theft and fraud, the company warned.
11 percent of the drives also contained company data, such as emails, spreadsheets and customer information.
The study, which was released on Tuesday, highlights the security problems with secondhand electronics. The previous owners often fail to delete all the data inside. Digital photocopiers, for instance, have been resold still storing all the documents they’ve ever scanned.
Old hard drives can also be a gold mine for hackers. Deleting the files stored inside may seem straight forward for the owner. But simply sending the files into the desktop’s Recycle Bin isn’t enough, Blancco said in its study.
In other cases, the user will run a “quick format” on the storage drive, thinking the files have been permanently removed. However, these methods don’t fully delete the data, but simply leave it hidden and intact, the study added.
Of the storage drives examined, only 10 percent had all the data securely wiped, Blancco said. It advises that owners use proper data erasure software to properly remove all the files. These tools can work by overwriting all the memory with meaningless data, to ensure that none of the residual information is left recoverable.
Blancco conducted its study in this year’s first quarter. Most of the drives bought were hard disk drives.
R3 offer a complete data solution; we can recover your data from a faulty drive or device, then completely wipe the data on the failed drive, dimantaling the drive for spare parts and then securely destroying any unused parts.
Recommendation of the highest order needs to go to R3 Data recovery company and specially to Andy Butler that have gone over and beyond the call of duty to help us recover the data from a corrupted/ blocked 1TB harddrive!
They accepted to see me after hours and on the weekend as there was urgent data needed to finish a project and went onto recover all of our treasured backed up photos of our family life as well as all the folders of our working life... These guys are to be recommended and trusted with any disaster and if they cannot recover it, then no-one else could!
Thank you guys for saving our digital lives.
R3 Data Recovery is rated (4.6) by 294 customer reviews on Reviews.co.uk
If your hard drive happens to fail, contact our team of experts. Our skilled professionals will be able to reliably recover data on your hard drive and provide industry-leading turnaround times which give you the confidence that's necessary to develop a solid, effective recovery plan.
Call us today at 0800 999 3282 or fill out our FREE, no-obligation diagnostics form for immediate help!