Did you know that you can prevent identity theft by recycling electronics? You can help with electronics and data security by recycling right and recycling now. Recycling security is an essential part of the recycling process and not something that should be overlooked when shopping around for the best way to dispose of your e-waste.
If there’s one thing we always have on us, besides our wallet, it’s our cell phones. Today, it’s amazing how much we rely on our smartphones to do for us. That includes checking our emails, giving us directions, taking photos and scheduling appointments.
But one thing many of us don’t realize is how much of our personal lives is intimately contained within those smartphones. Because a ton our personal information gets stored on those tiny devices.
Today, our cell phones have so many intricate functions, it’s our personal digital assistant. So think of your cell not simply as a phone, but as a small, portable computer.
As long as they’re safely in our possession, everything is fine. But these days, people tend to switch out their smartphones on a regular basis. Because technological advances makes older version obsolete in record time.
And when you’re deciding what to do with your older cell phones, a lot of people don’t realize those devices are loaded with your personal data. And that poses risk to your personal security.
More than ever today, it’s critical when you get rid of an older smartphone, laptop, iPad or tablet to recycle them with a reputable firm like Great Lakes Electronics Corporation. And don’t toss them into the trash.
In the hands of cybercriminals, any device holding personal data is a goldmine. A recycling firm like Great Lakes Electronics, on the other hand, becomes your personal data security experts. In their hands, your devices are scrubbed clean of all your personal information. Your data remains safe.
How much personal information stays on cell phones?
Because of how much functionality our cell phones offer today, it’s important to keep in mind what’s stored on electronic devices. Data gets stored every time you search, send and store personal information on it.
And every time consumers upgrade their old cell phone, your data remains there. And that’s true if you decide to recycle, sell or junk your old phone.
Sadly, hackers are increasingly sophisticated about getting that information. That’s why they scour the internet for used cell phones being listed on online auction sites. After buying them for a few dollars, they look for personal information on it. They can track down tons of data. That includes your passwords for everything from your email to your online banking.
Today, consumers and businesses put themselves at great risk if they fail to take steps to protect their private information before discarding mobile devices and hard drives. Electronic data security is a major issue. But it’s often one that people ignore.
Even deleting your information may not work. Because your information can still be stored on the devices, accessible to cyber-criminals. Residual data left on second-hand mobile devices is often more than enough to discern the identity of the previous user. Unfortunately, too many people think their mobile data is safe. And they only find out the hard way that it’s not.
Your cell phone can give you secure data storage, but it’s only safe while the device is in your hands only. One it falls into the wrong hands, security data protection becomes an issue.
This is true for both consumers and for businesses. Business security breaches are still a top concern today.
Why is this becoming a bigger concern?
Technology delivers stunning advances. Every time a new version of your smartphone comes out, it includes new features. And they enhance what you can do with your device. And it enhances how much we’ve come to rely on it.
And, naturally, that makes the older versions thoroughly obsolete. So we replace them.
While some people choose to recycle their old phones, far too many people either sell them online or toss them in the trash. Either one is a bad idea.
First, they’re both bad for the environment. That’s true if you sell an old cell phone and the buyer decides to throw it out, or if you just pitch it in the trash yourself. Having electronic devices end up in a landfill poses risks to the environment. E-waste contains hazardous metals that include arsenic, copper and lead. That can contaminate the soil and underground water supplies. California has even banned e-waste from going into landfills.
The smartest option is to take your old cell phone to a recycling program as e-waste. A recycling firm like Great Lakes Electronics can eliminate any possible threat of identity theft.
How is the technology changing this situation?
While technology is making smartphones even smarter, not all devices use encrypted storage, so by deleting the encryption key, recovery becomes impossible. Some devices instead rely on a user erasing their data by overwriting it.
But research has demonstrated that it’s not always easy to erase data from devices through this method. All too often, there’s still leftover data after the owner stops using it.
The Electronics Frontier Foundation recently reported an ominous reminder of just how widespread this problem is. It was the discovery of a mobile malware program that has stolen gigabytes of data from users.
EFF reported that this security bug infected thousands of smartphones after being hidden in fake messaging software. EFF noted that this security threat, which researchers call Dark Caracal, was focused on mobile devices. That’s because they’re full of personal data that users tap into on a daily basis.
Recycling Security: How to Prevent Identity Theft
When you’re ready to get rid of your old phone and upgrade to the new and improved model, it’s not enough to delete all your personal information like phone numbers, e-mails and old photos. Your information most likely is not truly gone, and it can be frustratingly easy to retrieve that personal data using commercially available software.
Cell phones will record your personal data using flash memory. Once you’ve stored information on your phone, it records a pointer to locate that particular data when you need it. But when you erase what’s on the phone, you’re erasing the pointers, not the data itself, which is still recorded on the hard drive.
The only difference is, you can’t see it anymore.
But the identity thieves know how to find it.
So the next time you’re ready to replace your old cell phone, smart phone, or laptop, first you need to ask yourself a basic question: how can you protect yourself?
Recycling Secrutiy: Prevent Identity Theft
Great Lakes Electronics Corporation specializes in electronic recycling and recycling security. And they’re a proven source for safely recycling electronic items. They also know how to eliminate all personal information stored on your devices and hard drives.
Their team will protect your computer data in accordance with top industry standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It was passed by Congress to set privacy rules for individual health information. They will also disassemble your e-waste into component parts. And the ones that still have value can be sold for reuse. Other parts are used for metals recovery. And everything is recycled.
Call Great Lakes Electronics today at 888-392-7831 to request a quote and learn more.