Faculty Publications

Title

Is your data gone? measuring user perceptions of deletion

Document Type

Conference

Keywords

Human factors, NAND flash, Secure deletion, Thumb drives

Journal/Book/Conference Title

ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Volume

Part F130652

First Page

47

Last Page

60

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that many users do not use effective data deletion techniques upon sale or surrender of storage devices. A logical assumption is that many users are still confused concerning proper sanitization techniques of devices upon surrender. This paper strives to measure this assumption through a buyback study with a survey component. We recorded participants' thoughts and beliefs concerning deletion, as well as general demographic information, in relation to actual deletion effectiveness on USB thumb drives. Thumb drives were chosen for this study due to their relative low cost, ease of use, and ubiquity. In addition, we also bought used thumb drives from eBay and Amazon Marketplace to use as a comparison to the wider world. We found that there is no statistically significant difference between buyback and market drives in terms of deletion methods nor presence of sensitive data, and thus our study may be predictive of the perceptions of the market sellers. In our combined data sets, we found over 60% of the drives tested still had recoverable sensitive data, and in the buyback group, we found no correlation between users' perceived versus actual effectiveness of deletion methods. Our results suggest the security community may need to take a different approach to increase the usability, availability, and/or necessity of strong deletion methods.

Original Publication Date

12-5-2016

DOI of published version

10.1145/3046055.3046057

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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