Is Your Personal Information Still On Your Old Computer? Recycling or Reformatting Your Computer’s Hard Drive Isn’t Enough!
Industry analysts estimate that 80% of corporate laptops and desktop PC’s contain sensitive data including personal names, home addresses, email addresses, home and cell phone numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, customer lists and passwords.
A study was conducted to see what type of information would be recoverable from used hard drives. 158 hard drives were purchased from Ebay that formerly belonged to organizations like banks and law firms. Of the 158 drives, only 12 had their data destroyed properly and no information could be restored. Of the remaining 146 drives, the data was initially removed by reformatting but thousands of credit cards numbers, individual names, contact information, emails, social security numbers and medical records were recovered despite being reformatted.
You may think that your old hard drives are obsolete and no longer contain any sensitive information but social security numbers, addresses and phone numbers can last a lifetime. Today’s computers also have no difficulty reading 15-year-old drives to obtain your sensitive information.