WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – With identity theft rates at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever to remember to wipe your old electronics when you discard of them.

You may not even be thinking about it when you upgrade your personal computer, but more than likely, your name, bank account and credit card information are all stored on the old hardware.

A new report by 9 News Now suggests it may not even cross many people’s minds that all their personal information is on a device when they take it to the curb, or give it away, and that is just asking for trouble.

“You’re literally giving your personal information out to the criminal world,” digital forensic expert Larry Daniel tells 9 News Now.

Wiping an iPhone is as easy as a three-stop trip to “settings”, “general” and “reset”, but some smart phones require a little extra doing to clear their memory completely.

The Android for instance, is easy from the onset. Users are required to go to “settings”, select “privacy,” but from there they have to consult an online manual.

It may seem daunting to go through all these precautionary steps, especially with a desktop computer, but the risk is real, and the extra time is worth it.

“Criminal enterprise live off of personal data,” Daniel says. “They love a hard drive that they can get their hands on.”

Click here for the original report.


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