What your hard drive can tell ID thieves

Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 10:32 AM EST

Many people believe that when they dispose of their old computer, the files they've erased from the hard drive are gone forever. Wrong. We bought a handful of drives on eBay and tried to recover old files by running simple and inexpensive software that anyone can obtain and use.

Here's what we found: a Microsoft Word tax document that included annual salary information; Quicken files filled with income and expense data; a MySpace account name and password; e-mail from Outlook Express; love letters; photographs; and lists of favorite Web sites.

At Consumer Reports.

[ Read more ]




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