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A Recent Study Found that 1 out of 10 Used Hard Drives Contained Personal Data
The UK's ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) has found that in a study of 200 used hard drives that one in 10 used hard drives that were being sold online contained "residual personal information"
The hard drives were managed by a computer forensics company (NCC Group), who found that 52% of the hard drives were either unreadable or had been degaussed to wipe the data clean.
This though leaves a worrying percentage of 48% that contained readable information of which 11% contained personal data. It was reported that at least two fo the drives could have been used to steal someone's identity.
BBC News Reports that: "Among the 34,000 files found were scanned bank statements, passports, information on previous driving offences and some medical details. Four of the hard drives came from organisations rather than individuals and contained information about employees and clients, including health and financial details. All four organisations had been contacted, and had subsequently taken action to securely erase data on old equipment, the ICO said.
This shows that it is becoming more and more important to properly dispose of your old drives in a secure manner.
Our rule of thumb states that the more sensitive information that a hard disk contains, the more time, money and effort should be spent ensuring that it is cleaned properly.
We would recommend that all hard drives containing sensitive information are degaussed and then destroyed.