Selling Your Mobile Data on eBay

A recent study has found that many people selling their phones on the auctioning site ebay are not deleting sensitive data first.

Such data left on phones often consists of banking details, photographs and emails, amongst other pieces of information.

Many of the security concerns regarding computers are now applicable to mobile phones as they become increasingly sophisticated as emphasised by Joe Nocera, an information security expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Researchers at CPP bought an assortment of phones and used SIM cards. The results were clear. Two hundred and seven pieces of separate pieces of information were discovered on 19 of the 35 phones in addition to 27 of the 50 SIM cards.

Information included bank account details, credit card details and login details to social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

These shocking reports claim that up to half of mobile users selling their phones on the site leave them teaming with sensitive data, potentially crippling in the wrong hands. Perhaps the most apparent branch of fraud would be identity fraud.

Four in five people claim to have wiped their phone before selling it. A further six in ten are confident that all sensitive data has at least been removed, according to the report. The fact that people are convinced they have actually removed the data is very worrying indeed. It perhaps points to how difficult removing personal information from such devices, can be.

Today people upgrade mobile phones frequently, and must make a conscious effort to be less careless when it comes to loading personal data onto them.

As Danny Harrison of CPP puts it “This report is a shocking wake-up call.”

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