As If Data Security Isn’t A Huge Issue By Itself, Another Variable Has Been Added To The Equation And That Is E-waste. To Utilize The Million Metric Tons Of E-waste Globally Produced Each Year, Communities Worldwide Are Responding Through E-recycling. Both Environmentally-friendly And Hygienic, This Process Is Being Asserted Instead Of Dumping Them To Unsanitary Landfills. However, with The Rise Of E-recycling Comes Huge Threats For Data Breach And Invasion Of Privacy.
The continuous rise of the Digital Age allows users to save everything on their electronic gadgets like laptops and smartphones. These electronic data range from moderately sensitive photos and messages to highly private information like bank account information, medical records, and credit card numbers. Most users are convinced that their data are completely deleted once they are not seen from their screens. However, these data can be easily extracted by hackers with the right hardware. Once their old gadgets are transferred to recycling facilities, they go through several hands before being separated piece by piece. With this in mind, hackers have plenty of opportunities to steal anyone’s information.
While the vast convenience that electronic devices provide is undeniable, gadget users have become more prone to cybercrimes than ever; and by improperly disposing one’s e-waste, anyone can be a victim of data breaching. The good news is there are plenty of ways to have a secured e-recycling experience.
Before anything else, make sure to back up all data. It is also important to disconnect these devices into online accounts. Once completed, all information in the device can now be deleted. For smartphones, the reset function is all it takes since they do not have traditional hard drives. For computers and gadgets with hard drives, however, the safest way is to have their hard drives shredded. Authorized recycling firms can do them for a price, but rest assured that any private information is nowhere to be found in the e-waste.
There are firms that bring hard drives to their facilities to be shredded, while there are some that offer on-site services. The latter can be availed if users want to see their hard drives being shredded to ensure the job being done. However, be careful of companies that offer this service for free. Putting files in a shredder and even throwing the trash costs a little, so the dispatching of e-waste must also be paid.
However, the trend of big manufacturers reclaiming their customers’ gadgets to be dispatched is also starting to thrive. All users have to do is complete an online survey then mail the device or take it to the manufacturer’s office. These companies have their own comprehensive recycling services and also offer some cash back provided that the devices are in relatively good condition.
While data security and e-recycling seem to be too complicated a task, it is important to treat one’s stored information with the same caution as the devices to be recycled. Through secured e-recycling, users can protect their electronic data and the environment all at the same time. Why think of all the possibilities on how someone might steal one’s identity when e-recycling services are readily available? Save all the trouble for everyone, and e-recycle with care.