Mobile Security Expert Urges Caution with Secondhand Mobile Devices

Got a small pile of unwanted electronics that have been replaced by new models and gadgets in your life?

If you opt to get rid of them, you could be making one or more cybercriminals very happy.

Although the average mobile user retains their newest phone for at least twelve months, 90% of the phones sold in the last 25 years are still in circulation, if not in service.

This reality means that when secondhand devices fall into the wrong hands, sensitive information that you thought was erased can be restored and used against you.

A recent investigation by McAfee, in fact, shows that you mobile privacy could easily be compromised if you’re not careful.

McAfee’s online security evangelist, Robert Siciliano, recently purchased 20 used laptops, desktops, netbooks, tablets, and mobile phones on Craigslist to investigate just how much data could be retrieved on these old devices.

Siciliano uncovered full contact lists, photos, tax returns and in one case the employee records for a small business, including social security numbers.

Although the factory reset on iPhones and BlackBerry can be very safe and effective, Android devices are said to be most vulnerable to subsequent data retrieval methods.

So what should you do with those old devices? According to some mobile security experts, since you can never be too safe, hang on to those mobile gadgets for use as backups or simply smash them into oblivion.