10GB of personal files found on supposed new laptop bought at computer

first_imgIf you go shopping for a new laptop at a retail store, you’ll most likely get a machine full of crapware that takes a few hours to clear off. Buy one from a computer fair, though, and you could get a hard drive full of personal files.That’s what happened to one Hidayat Sudirman in Singapore who bought a laptop advertised as new. The 14″ Asus laptop was anything but, and when switched on the new owner found over 10GB of files belonging to someone else. These weren’t nondescript files, but personal and confidential information such as tax records and divorce documents.The sale turned out to be a major mistake on the part of the company selling the laptops. Newstead Technologies act as an Asus reseller and sell new laptops at these fairs, but they also take in machines for repair. In this case one of the repair machines had managed to get into the new laptop pile and shipped off for sale.Sudirman took the laptop back and got a full refund along with an apology. The mistake also got the interest of Asus who has taken the time to contact its resellers with more guidance regarding handling of its products.For anyone sending a laptop off for repair it’s a reminder that the data stored on your hard drive is vulnerable and steps need to be taken to protect it. That includes encrypting your hard drive and doing a complete backup regularly in case someone less honest than Sudirman ends up getting hold of it and using the information.On the flip side, if you purchase a machine from a computer fair then ensure the first thing you do is check it for files and possible infections. You never know what state the last person left it in and there’s no guarantee the person selling it bothered to check either.Read more at The China Post, via Thinq (image courtesy of laptopshop.co.uk)last_img