Contact 5: Private information on used computers

Contact 5: Private information on used computers

When getting rid of your old electronics, like cellphones and computers, whether selling them or throwing them away, do you think twice about the private data you're leaving behind?

A Contact 5 investigation found many of you, even government agencies and those who work in the computer industry themselves, are not.

Contact 5 went fishing for personal information with Alan Crowetz of Infostream. "These days when it comes to hackers and the bad guys, information is power," said Crowetz. "Finding out social security numbers, finding passwords, finding financial information, that's almost more valuable than money these days."

It's information that's sometimes left on computers their owners don't want anymore.

"This is a great source to find information that people don't think twice about disposing of," said Crowetz.

Contact 5 used sites like Craigslist and Ebay, and Florida auctions online.

While we searched, Crowetz told us exactly what the hackers and bad guys would be looking for in the perfect computer.

"For me, I want to find things that are older. Those are much more likely to be a target because it's less likely to be a computer knowledgeable person and the older they are, the more data that's on there," said Crowetz.

To learn more about what the hackers are searching for online, and to see what we found on those computers we bought, something our expert called "awful and frightening," tune in Monday at 5 PM.

There will also be tips on how to properly dispose of your private data, so you don't get taken advantage of.

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