Practical Technology

for practical people.

Don’t hand over your own personal WikiLeaks to Strangers

When I first heard about a prominent journalist’s review smartphone, with all its information intact, dropping into the lap of a friend, I thought it was funnier than anything else.

I have a dark sense of humor. But, then I started thinking about it. Yes, it’s funny that even people who should know better flunk at information security 101, but he’s far from alone. As I talked with my fellow journalists, I heard story after story of people getting review PCs, smartphones, and the like with all the previous user’s information still intact.

Don’t start feeling smug though about how smarty-pants journalists aren’t really that smart. I called a couple of local computer recyclers, and they told me that 70% of the old PCs they get arrive at their door with the previous user’s personal and business data just sitting there.

Whoops.

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