Kotaku recently reported that a cache of Xbox 360s and PlayStation 3s offloaded to Circuit City has tons of fun data on them. Smaller merchants are buying these things for pennies on the dollar in hopes to resell them for a profit in their stores. I’ve heard that these things are everywhere!

Folks, don’t forget, that every one of these devices that you plug into the wall or has a battery is basically a computer. Sure, it may not be the one that you are reading this post on, but it is a scaled down version of the same technology.

You know that VOIP phone sitting on your desk? Yep, a computer. Aside from the data security issues associated with outdated or known vulnerable software, there is data on that thing. How long it lives, or what it stores depends on the device. Sure, my Wii only has my family’s Miis on it and the code to my wireless network. But not the REAL wireless network, a DMZ one that I let all my security unconscious family and friends use. There is nothing in the 242 or so data units on the device that I would not be ashamed of posting here in this blog.

Can you say the same for your computing devices?

If not, then BE SURE to destroy all of the data on the device before handing it over. For appliances or self contained units such as TiVos or PS3s, you will void the warranty by sanitizing the drive, but if you are disposing of it, you probably were out of warranty anyway.

Regardless, hard drives are cheap right now, so using the super destructo method of a big magnet or a commercial shredder certainly becomes a more reasonable solution!

This post originally appeared on BrandenWilliams.com.