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Delete Your Data – Stupid! – If You Sell Your Device Online

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A new study reveals 40% of electronic devices resold in publicly available resale channels contained personally identifiable information (PII). 

The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) also found auction, resell, and recycling sites have created a convenient revenue stream in used devices; however, the real value is in the data that the public unintentionally leaves behind.

NAID commissioned CPR Tools, Inc. to analyze the used devices, which included used hard drives, mobile phones and tablets.

PII recovered included credit card information, contact information, usernames and passwords, company and personal data, tax details, and more. While mobile phones had less recoverable PII at 13%, tablets were disturbingly found with the highest amount at 50%. PII was also found on 44% of hard drives. In total, 40% of the devices yielded PII. The study included devices that had been previously deployed in both commercial and personal environments.

NAID cautions the results are in no way an indictment of reputable commercial services providing secure data erasure.

The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is the international watchdog and non-profit trade association of the secure destruction industry, which currently represents more than 1,900 member locations globally. NAID advocates for a standard of best practices across governments and by service providers as well as suppliers of products, equipment and services to destruction companies. The mission of NAID is to promote the proper destruction of discarded information through education and to encourage the outsourcing of destruction needs to qualified contractors.

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