If you follow our blog regularly, you know that FileShred is proud to be NAID certified. NAID (National Association for Information Destruction) is an international associate that regulates the information destruction industry and upholds its standards and ethics. The association recently released a study containing findings surrounding around personal data extraction from devices. This study provides eye-opening proof that people aren’t being as safe with their sensitive data as they probably assume. Many devices we use today store our data, things like cellphones, tablets, laptops, hard drives, etc. Once in the wrong hands, these devices are a hacker’s playground, and your confidential information can be stolen in an instant and used against your will.

The study showed that 40% of devices resold in publicly-available resale channels contained personally identifiable information (PII). What is PII? It includes data like credit card information, contact information, usernames and passwords, company and personal data, tax details, photos, and more. These vulnerable information aren’t that hard to crack either. Robert Johnson, NAID CEO, commented, “NAID employed only basic measures to extract data; imagine if we had asked our forensics agency to actually dig!” He added, “40 percent is horrifying when you consider the millions of devices that are recycled annually.”

Some concerning facts taken from the study include:

  • 13% of mobile phones involved had easily recoverable PII
  • 50% of tablets had considerable PII
  • 44% of hard drives contained immense PII

Affiliate John Benkert noted, “Auction, resell, and recycling sites have created a convenient revenue stream in used devices; however, the real value is in the data that the public unintentionally leaves behind.”

Even if you think you’re “wiping” or “deleting” your personal files from these devices, it’s likely you haven’t cleaned them as well as you’ve been lead to believe. PII is difficult to fully remove, and it doesn’t take much for a hacker to recover it. The only way to be sure you’re protected is to carry out full destruction of these hard drive devices. That ensures the device is completely destroyed, leaving no possibility for information to be stolen.

Contact FileShred for more information on this growing need to keep your data secure, and ask about how our hard drive destruction services can become your best ally.