Cyber security is the issue that probably best defines the contemporary moment. On the geopolitical level, the security of government instutitions and elections from foreign hacking interference has dominated public conversation.
But on the individual level, too, the security of information is a concern. So much of our lives depends upon social media and vulnerable software. Too often, identity thieves take advantage of insufficiently protected smart devices.
That's what happened to one unsuspecting teenager from Ontario.
After fifteen-year-old Natalie Hall decided to sell her old iPhone for an eleven dollar rebate on a new device, the phone ended up with a wholesaler in Dubai. The merchant who purchased the phone found Hall's photos, personal information, and social media accounts intact.
That man reached out to Hall commenting on the photos in her stream and pressuring her to add him on Facebook. When she declined, he accepted his friend request himself using her login information.
Hall has since updated her security and blocked the invasive man.
In fact, according to the CBC, the factory reset option on smartphones does not include a wipe of personal information.
Smartphone users should ensure they have adequately deleted all personal content before reselling their phones.