Which?: Data leaks risked through bad disposal

8th January 2009

People may be at serious risk of a data leak due to the way they get rid of their outdated or unused systems, according to a market specialist.

Through using basic free software which can be downloaded from the internet, criminals are able to retrieve and extract once-deleted information and are even known to trawl through council tips and internet auction sites for hard drives to steal from, Which? stated today.

"PCs contain more valuable personal information than ever as people increasingly shop online, use social networking sites and take digital photos," said Sarah Kidner, Editor of Which? Computing.

She continued: "Even if you delete your files, you'd be surprised how easy it is to recover your personal data."

Alexander Skipwith from London, a reader of Which? magazine, told of how his personal information was held to ransom by a man in Latvia who was able to recover family pictures and bank statements.

Working without bias or a hidden agenda, Which? says it prides itself on giving top quality reviews of products from diverse areas of the market.

More than half of small businesses (53 per cent) believe that the most important benefit of outsourcing is guaranteed response times for IT support. London-based Connect conducted the research in 2007.