4 July 2016
Your online security shouldn’t be something you play with. Yet even simple gaming could be leaving you and family vulnerable to data theft through that old Xbox sitting in the corner gathering dust. So before you sell on your no longer wanted console and upgrade to the next model, be aware that it’s possible hackers could extract your credit card number and other personal information such as passwords, photos and home movies with just a handful of common tools. Even restoring your console to factory settings won’t remove all of the data it stores.
And make sure your children understand the importance of data security too, before they decide to trade in their old console without telling you! If your Xbox Live account remains live on your 360, it can be pretty simple for someone to go online and start buying content using your credit card.
“A lot of them already know how to do this. Anyone can freely download a lot of this software, essentially pick up a discarded game console, and have someone’s identity.” Ashley Podhradsky, Dakota State University
So before you sell or dispose of your old games console, there are a number of ways you can erase the personal information you really don’t want others to see. From physical destruction to using secure deletion software, restoring factory settings or formatting, each method has its benefits depending on what kind of media the data is stored on and whether or not this is easily accessible. For example, if you have personal data stored on the Cloud, you’ll need to contact your provider to see what service they offer to securely delete data.
If in doubt, leave it to the experts.
Before you take a hammer to that old Xbox or Wii console in a hap hazard attempt to destroy your personal data, think about responsible and eco-friendly computer recycling first, if you want to ensure data protection, as well as reducing your impact on the environment. So if you’re committed to the ethical recycling of obsolete games consoles, computers and other technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly data destruction and computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration, to ensure ultimate data security. It’s also important to be aware that if you’re running a business, companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in
accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.