More than half the second-hand mobile phones sold in the UK contain personal data as users forget to wipe their phones before selling them.
According to a study conducted by data protection company CPP, around 54 per cent of second-hand mobile phones in the market contain some kind of sensitive data belonging to their previous owners.
CPP, which provides protection against fraud, purchased 35 mobiles and 50 SIM cards on online auction site eBay. The company said that it found 247 pieces of data including text messages, emails, photos and banking details belonging to previous users.
The company also conducted a survey of 2,000 Britons which revealed that more than half of them claimed to have found data belonging to old owners when they purchased a second hand mobile device. However, around 81 per cent of respondents said that they wiped the data from mobile devices when they sold them.
Joe Nocera, an information security expert with PricewaterhouseCoopers, said in a statement, “Many of the security concerns that people think about when they think about their personal computers are applicable in the mobile world.”
“As mobile devices become more sophisticated, they lend themselves to the same types of access to e-mail, passwords, and other secure information that PCs have done in the past,” he added.