Sunday July 03, 2016

Hard Drives On eBay, Craigslist Still Ripe With Leftover Data

What can you recover from a used hard drive? A lot, probably. Your average consumer probably doesn’t know much more beyond emptying the Recycle Bin or doing a quick format.

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.