PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ten million people in our country are victimized by identity theft every year. Many of those victims could be making themselves vulnerable by reselling their recently replaced smartphones.
Cyber Security Expert Robert Siciliano, working with McAfee Cyber Security, went online and purchased 30 used smartphones including Blackberry, iPhone and Android smartphones.
Scanning them with Internet available software, Siciliano says they found personal information on half of them.
“People left all their information, their PDF, Word documents, text files, home videos, photos, and a lot of pornography; aactually we found their entire digital lives,” Siciliano said. “Enough information to steal their identities and take over existing identities.”
Siciliano and the McAfee folks say doing a factory reset on the phones was fairly effective on the Blackberry and iPhone models, but not Droids.
In fact, based on his investigation, Siciliano says he would never resell one of his personal devises.
He also said on some of the phones they purchased, they found spyware that could steal your personal information once you start using it.
His recommendation – don’t buy a used smartphone, and put your old phone in a drawer rather than reselling it and risking identity theft.