School technology leaders, beware: A new report from two graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggest that unless you take very specific steps to erase the hard drives of old computers you donate or recycle, they can still retain personal files with access to sensitive information such as students' addresses or academic records.

Over two years, MIT students Simson Garfinkel and Abhi Shelat bought 158 used hard drives at secondhand computer stores and on eBay. Of the 129 drives that functioned, they say, 69 still had recoverable files on them and 49


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