Devices come and go…Here’s how to dispose of them properly

Every fall, the long-awaited release of Apple’s newest product update arrives, marking just one of many frequent advancements in consumer technology. With such advancements, it can lead to many people switching to the newest smartphones, watches, tablets and more at record rates. These switches come with unique cybersecurity concerns – people do not give much thought about the personal data that is stored on these devices when disposing of them, which can lead to breaches.

This newsletter from SANS Institute dives into how to clear your smart devices so that your personal data is not at risk. Check out the full newsletter here: https://www.sans.org/sites/default/files/2017-12/OUCH-201612_en.pdf 

Here are some actionable tips to ensure your data isn’t compromised when switching to a new device:

Wipe your device

Wiping your device does not just consist of erasing your data and calling it a day. The easiest way to securely wipe the device is to reset the device to factory mode. This varies among different devices, and the way to ensure you are taking the correct steps is to check your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website.

SIM & External cards

Even when you do a factory reset, SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards retain some of your personal data. If you are keeping the same number, talk to your service provider when switching devices about transferring the same SIM. If you are not keeping the SIM, physically keep and shred it to avoid any personal security attacks. If your device has an SD (Secure Digital) card, remove or shred these before disposing of the device.

Security awareness training for technology companies

Developers that offer the newest technology should be well versed in how to build defensible applications from the start. Building applications that are less susceptible to attack is an important step in having secure devices.

As always, report any suspicious activity and check back next month for more cybersecurity tips and tricks!