British fraud protection company CPP bought 35 used cell phones and 50 SIM cards from eBay to discover how many people properly remove personal information before selling these products to complete strangers. The results are pretty shocking, the company discovered more than half contained extensive personal data, including credit and debit card PIN numbers, bank account details, passwords, phone numbers, login data to social networking sites and company information.
All this comes despite the fact that the vast majority - 81 percent - of people claimed to have wiped their mobiles before selling them. Six in ten were confident they'de removed all of their personal information from them.
The variance could be explained by the fact that most people who claimed to have 'wiped' their handsets tried to erase the data manually - a process that security experts say leaves the data intact and retrievable.
"This report is a shocking wake up call and shows how mobile phones can inadvertently cause people to be careless with their personal data," says CPP mobile data expert Danny Harrison.