December 24

Another reminder to be careful selling items on eBay.

I recently bought a cordless phone handset on eBay that interoperates with a multi-handset base that I already have. It was advertised as used, but in good working order. It arrived intact in the mail, about eleven days after I had paid for it. It was shipped without the battery installed, about as I would expect.

Here’s the interesting thing. Despite being shipped without a battery, after charging, it showed that it had about ninety calls stored in it’s Caller ID memory. The last one recorded was from about November 1st, presumably about the time the handset was taken offline, and conceivably, when the battery was removed.

While I don’t think this particular information represents a dramatic leak of someone’s personal information, it does stand as a good reminder of the various ways to inadvertently compromise your own privacy with the devices you might be selling.

We’ve heard plenty of stories of hard drives, laptops, even full PC’s being resold over the internet loaded with personal data about someone. The story I tell you now, however, should be a reminder to consider everything a potential risk, that needs serious thought before you allow it to leave your personal sphere of influence.


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