Are you selling your phone to upgrade to the latest and greatest? Be sure that all data on your old phone is fully and permanently deleted from the device before you sell it. A recent study by Blancco Technology Group and Kroll OnTrack analyzed 122 used phones and a startling 48 percent of them contained residual data from the previous owner. The researchers were even able to retrieve readable emails, call logs, texts, photos and videos from a full 35 percent of the supposedly wiped mobile devices. Researchers also found that 57 percent of the used mobile devices and 75 percent of used hard drives purchased from Amazon, eBay, and Gazelle have data left by unsuccessful deletion attempts. In short, if you think you've deleted all your information, there is a good chance that you have not; checking "delete all" and hitting return is not good enough.
Obviously, a failure to fully remove data and personal information from your old phone can have serious security consequences, particularly if the phone contained confidential or privileged client information. Before selling or abandoning your old phone, call our IT department. They have the technology and expertise to wipe off the data on the device. It's a simple and quick process that might prevent you and the firm from having a disastrous and expensive security breach.
Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.