Tips for purchasing electronics this holiday season


November 24, 2015

As holiday shopping officially kicks off on November 27, it’s important for consumers to keep in mind the following tips as they purchase electronic devices.

  1. Make sure all of your data is erased from your device before selling/recycling. It is estimated that 5 out of 13 (or 38%) used phones still had information on them from the previous user.
  2. If you absolutely want to keep your data private, remove/destroy the storage unit of the device.
  3. Know who you’re buying from. Many first-tier retailers are offering re-sale services to third parties.
  4. Beware. Just because you bought a device from an online retailer doesn’t mean the product was sourced/sold by that online retailer. Third party sellers have been known to sell counterfeit or used devices as genuine/new.

Researchers in Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) are training people and creating the technology needed to combat hardware security threats. Ken Mai, a senior systems scientist, is developing new, low-cost, hardware-level methods of securing electronic systems against illegal counterfeiting.

Learn more about the hardware consumers trust most.