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Dumpster Diving

Definition - What does Dumpster Diving mean?

In the IT world, dumpster diving refers to using various methods to get information about a technology user. In general, dumpster diving involves searching through trash or garbage looking for something useful. This is often done to uncover useful information that may help an individual get access to a particular network. So, while the term can literally refer to looking through trash, it is used more often in the context of any method (especially physical methods) by which a hacker might look for information about a computer network.

Techopedia explains Dumpster Diving

In many cases, dumpster diving involves getting data about a user in order to impersonate that user and gain access to his or her user profiles or other restricted areas of the Internet or a local network. Dumpster diving can mean looking through physical trash for such information, or searching discarded digital data. In either case, security experts warn users to leave a clean trail to prevent identity theft and avoid other consequences that can stem from a successful dumpster diving operation.

Businesses and other large entities have developed practical ways to discourage dumpster diving, such as shredding paperwork and locking waste bins. Other security measures include the use of firewalls and other precautions to stop dumpster divers from getting access to discarded or loose data, such as ensuring that data is wiped off of old hard drives and destroying old storage media.

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