Sunday, December 30, 2012

A word of caution when buying used electronics...

Are you thinking about buying a used computer or electronic gaming device for your child as a way to get your child both what they want, and save money at the same time, well, do it with caution first, as you'll see the reason why in this CNN video:

A family noticed racy photos on a 5-year-old's Christmas present, a used Nintendo. KUSA reports.

Now clearly no one wants to give their child any thing like that for Christmas, but the fact is that when you by some electronic device used, you run the risk of the thing being full of porn. This isn't really as uncommon as some of you might think. In fact there was porn on the used netbook computer that I am currently typing this article on as we speak (it was also logged into the previous owner's Facebook page as well, but being the good guy that I am, I emptied the cache and all of the login information).

I also bought a used Nintendo 3DS a few months ago myself, and while it didn't have any porn on it, it did have some pictures and music from the previous owner on it (which I did delete).

Let this be a word of caution for anyone buying a used computer or similar electronic devices, and that while it is cheaper to buy used then it is to buy new, you don't know what is on it, so you need to take some time and do these simple little steps when you first get your new used device:

  • Check the device first and check out all of the areas that normally contain photos and videos and whatever else. Also be sure to check any folders that look suspicious as well. Better to be safe then sorry.
  • Clear out the caches on all of the computer's internet browsers, including download history, passwords, and saved sites.
  • Run a complete disk clean up.
  • Run a virus scan.

Also note, if you find any illegal material on it, do not erase it. Shut down the device, put it back in whatever it came in, get the receipt for it, and take it to the police immediately.

If you do these four steps, the used electronic devices you give to your kids should safe for them use, because the simple fact is that even if a company does have strict quality controls when it comes to selling used electronic devices, there is no 100% guarantee that there won't be something on it that should not be there, and you don't want your kids to see what that is.

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