Over the weekend, Gurpreet Singh Thathy visited his parents. Whilst there, his father passed over several tablets/mobile phones to him, all old and no longer used – a couple were old personal ones, the others were work related. He asked Gurpreet whether any of them were still useful and if not, could he dispose of them. Some were very old; however, he managed to power up a couple of the tablets and identified that his email accounts were still logged into one of them. Knowing where your data is stored is the first step in protecting it and your privacy.
So many people have old devices that are stored or disposed of without realising information is stored on them. It is recommended that you do a data audit of your personal devices and corporate devices to understand how these devices are storing your data as well as how the hardware or platforms are interacting with your data. This will assist in lowering your risk to a security breach and allow to put the necessary steps in place to protect your data.
As a reminder, make sure you wipe your data from your Android/iPhone/tablet especially if you are trading it in for a new one.
- Back up the data stored locally on your device
- Disable tracking apps and remove the device from your associated accounts. Turn off Apple’s Find My (the app that offers device tracking) and Google Activation Locks on your smart device. You can also manage your Amazon smart devices online. Removing the old phone or tablet from the list of devices associated with your account prevents new owners from being able to access information about you, such as your name, birth date, and home address
- Completely erase the mobile device after backing up your data to your computer or the cloud. If you’re using iOS, navigate to Settings>General>Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad. Follow the prompts to erase your content and settings once you are sure you have backed up all of the data. Android users can find the Reset option in the Settings menu on their devices