Pretty much everyone uses computers in today’s day and age, whether it’s for work, school, or just surfing the internet to find information at home. Not just computers, but mobile phones as well. What you don’t often think about is all of the sensitive information that is contained within computers. When it comes to businesses, it is pretty certain that company computers and laptops will contain private and sensitive information that is not for prying eyes. You may that simply deleting files off of these computers are enough, but you would be sorely mistaken.
If you are getting ready to discard an old computer that has private information, there is no doubt that the first thing you will consider doing to remove old information is by erasing the hard drive. While it sounds promising, this is actually not an effective way to remove information from a computer. In fact, grad students at MIT sought to point this out with an experiment. They decided to gather 158 used disk drives that had apparently had data erased. Of the 158 disks they purchased, 129 were usable. Of those 129, 29 still had information on it or else made no real attempt to properly erase data. One one of the disks, they even found 5,000 credit numbers. About 60% of the disks were formatted, however this does not fully erase the data and it can still be retrieved. They were amazed at how people do not really take steps to fully erase data in a way that it cannot be retrieved.
Now that you understand how easy it is to retrieve data from computers even after you have “erased” the drive, it’s time to look into methods that will actually work. It’s important to choose an authorized data destruction company if you are looking to have your data completely removed. This will also prevent any data from being able to be retrieved in the future. In addition, if you are looking for your computers to be completely destroyed and recycled, places that securely recycle electronics like WC Recyler will also be able to provide this service for you. Visit the WC Recycler site and fill out a data destruction quote form today!
WC Computer Recycler
If you're looking to recycle and discard your old electronics, visit our R2/RIOs Certified recycling facility.
9856 Baldwin Place
El Monte, CA
Technological advancements have become a prominent feature in today’s society. With the growing number of new gadgets introduced every year, there is a greater demand to have the latest model and generation. Although this growing demand for electronics is beneficial for the economy, it could be damaging to the environment as we dispose our old and unwanted electronics. With new gadgets being launched every year, this could pose a threat to the environment as we figure out what to do with obsolete electronics. When we hear about a new iPhone generation in the works many of us feel the need to upgrade once this new software becomes available in stores. Once we get a new phone, computer, or/and laptop, then what do we do we our old electronics? Some of us may choose to recycle it by visiting an e-waste recycling company while others often keep it piled away in the garage. Many also end up throwing old electronics in dumpsters that often end up being sent to a landfill. This not only damages our environment but it can also increase the risk of confidential material being found and sometimes replicated. This leads to the problem of identity theft. We mindlessly throw away trash without thinking about any consequences that may ensue from our actions. We often hear about the importance of recycling cans, bottles, plastics, scrap paper but how often are we reminded about the importance of recycling our electronic waste. Electronic waste includes but not limited to computers, laptops, cameras, phones, television, and hard drives. Those of us who throw away our electronics for waste management to pick up from our driveway are unaware of the defects this may cause the environment. Many are misinformed or lack the knowledge of recycling old electronics.
So what ends up happening to the useless gadgets we throw away? More often than not these gadgets end up in landfills if we don’t choose an e-waste recycling company to properly handle this type of waste. Our environment is directly affected when electronic waste ends up in a landfill. The hazardous materials from these electronics are exposed and harm the water we drink and the air we breathe. Most electronics contain lead and mercury that can contaminate our water and pollute the air whenever we don’t recycle. To prevent poor practices and to encourage better e-waste management, strict governmental laws have been enforced which will set fines and penalties for discarding any electronics in landfills. Companies should particularly pay close attention to how they discard e-waste. Many companies can be traced through serial numbers that are recorded at the time of purchase and you can be held liable for not obeying the law if you improperly discard e-waste. So think twice before throwing away an old cell phone or hard drive into a trash bin. An important thing to think about is whether your electronic contains confidential information. If it does, then you may want to look for a secure data destruction company that is trustworthy and will protect your personal identity. Most people think that manually deleting all your files or/and reformatting your hard drive is a safe way to ensure all your data is removed but in reality one can still access your data. So whether you’re deciding what to do with your old home desktop or need to recycle tons of computers at once then make sure to go with secure data destruction firm that will provide a certificate of destruction and who is HIPAA compliant.
When it comes to how electronic waste is handled in the United States, many people would assume that it is carefully regulated by the government. However what many people don’t know is where this e-waste ends up and how it is disposed of. In reality, although recycling is a big deal particularly in America, this doesn’t mean all e-waste is properly recycled and manufactured. Another way the U.S. government handles e-waste is through exportation. This means that e-waste is transferred to other countries that lack the infrastructure and resources to recycle electronic waste. In essence, e-waste becomes ‘someone else’s’ problem. Most e-waste exported to these countries are developing nations that are dealing with problems of their own. Although electronic waste continues to become an environmental threat and health issue, the government, industry, and consumers have gradual steps to dealing with this looming problem. E-waste exported to these poor communities in third world countries are forced to dispose of this in an unsafe and unfavorable matter. It is no doubt that that these countries are at a disadvantage especially because they have no structured method to recycling. This inevitably endangers the health of workers handling e-waste. Not only does it harm the workers but also the communities that are surrounded by these landfills and rivers. Many families living near these landfills are exposed daily to open burning, contaminated drinking water, and toxic dumping. By exporting e-waste to poor countries, the U.S. is poisoning their society and contributing this global crisis caused by improper e-waste dumping and disposal.
Reported by the organization, Basel Action Network, 50-80% of e-waste collected by various industries is rarely recycled domestically. Instead the e-waste collected are often placed in container ships and exported to other countries. With tons of old and obsolete electronics disposed of every year, recycling becomes burdensome, which is why exporting is another route that industries often take to handle the growing pile of e-waste. Exporting e-waste becomes a much more convenient method for the U.S. and much more cost-effective because of the cheap labor that would ensue from transporting waste to these poor countries. In China for example, labor costs are generally as low as $1.50 per day. Most e-waste is exported to China, India, and Africa. These countries struggle to regulate the import of e-waste. Therefore, the hope for a cleaner environment is far beyond reach if we continue on this path of destruction. E-waste has been known to be the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Exporting e-waste is often an overlooked e-waste management alternative especially because it is rarely revealed by the government. According to international law, the exporting harmful e-waste is banned, however in the U.S. it is considered completely legal. Isn’t it ironic how the U.S. has the resources, equipment, and machinery to properly recycle waste yet still export some of the waste to third world countries who again have little to no recycling infrastructure? With that being said, proponents against the exporting of e-waste should take a stronger stance against the federal government to ban all e-waste exports to developing nations.