Drill that hard drive

11. 771NEWS

• If you love your data, put a drill in it: A laptop hard drive. Photo supplied | Mark Gallagher

IT’S hard rubbish collection season, but an IT expert warns thieves could trawl for passwords carelessley left on discarded hard drives.

The Voice has seen two laptops—left out for verge collection—pulled apart in West Perth in the past week.

Jesse Dwyer runs Bayswater computer refurbishing business Jesse Dwyer IT, and warns people should remove hard drives before throwing computers away.

“People store a lot of personal information on their HD; passwords to accounts and banking details,” Mr Dwyer says.

Because a lot of passwords have to be so complex (capital letters, numbers and weird characters) he says many people simply store them in a Word file on their computer.

Mr Dwyer adds it’s easy for a password scrounger to hook up a salvaged HD to their own computer: “It’s one of the easiest things to take out. It’s basically just a couple of steps: You take out the HD, plug it into your comp, and all the information is there.”

Data can be recovered from even a wiped hard drive.

Mr Dwyer says the only sure way to dispose of a hard drive is to put a drill through it.

by DAVID BELL

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