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Identity Theft Risk in Old Gaming Consoles

Avid video game players are always excited about the release of the latest version of the popular consoles. Gamers who purchase the new gaming consoles generally sell their older gaming consoles on eBay or other sites after buying the newer version. To the surprise of many people, this can lead to identity theft. Video game consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation are not just video game players, but also quite sophisticated computers that often have important personal information, including credit card information, stored on the computer’s hard drive. Identity thieves know this and buy the used gaming consoles to harvest the personal information from the consoles and make their former console owners victims of identity theft.

If you are selling or otherwise disposing of your older video game consoles, make sure that you remove all personal information from the hard drives before you sell or get rid of them. The simplest way to do this is to get an external hard drive reader that you can use to connect your console’s hard drive to your computer. After it is connected to your computer, you can use a program such as “Eraser,” which is free, to remove your personal information from your console’s hard drive.

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