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Identity Theft is up! More Reason to Properly Dispose of E-Waste

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September 30, 2013
identity thief

The proper disposal of e-waste products is becoming more and more critical. Not only is it essential for the protection of the environment, but as the rates of identity theft grow, it is becoming ever more vital to ensure that sensitive data is protected from those who might seek to use it for illegal purposes.

identity thief

Environmentally, many people do not understand the damage which is done by poor e-waste disposal. Many Western countries ship their recycled goods to less economically developed areas. There, the people strip items for their reusable parts, such as the copper or other metal components with resale value. The remaining parts are left to disintegrate. In China, the city of Guiyu was once known for its rice farming. Now, however, it is a major hub of the e-waste industry and the pollution generated has not only made the ground incapable of supporting crops, but it has also poisoned the supply of drinking water. According to statistics, up to 88% of children suffer from lead poisoning as a consequence of this work, where circuit boards are ‘cooked’ to remove electrical chips and solder, wires and plastics are burnt to get to the inner metal parts and corrosive acid baths are established alongside the riverbank to help the extraction of gold from the microchips or to clear out printer toners.

However, the consequences also come much closer to home. There is a growing market for criminal organizations who can ‘comb’ the electronic waste for hard drives and other data sources, looking for stores of personal data which can be used to commit identity fraud. These groups are targeting the waste exported from the UK and America, according to research. When this data can include online banking details, credit card information from online shopping accounts, or social networking information regarding personal details of one’s life and activities, there are several openings from which criminals might be able to exploit an innocent person’s data for their purposes. The level of personal information stored on the average computer is incredibly high: in the wrong hands, it can be used to cause severe damage. Safe destruction of e-waste is therefore crucial. If you are seeking e-waste recycling services in Irvine, be sure to contact a professional e-waste company!

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