20 April 2015
With data breaches from security breaks and hacking becoming increasingly commonplace, it's vital that consumers and businesses are aware of the scale of the problem and the potentially costly consequences of a failure to properly recycle electronic waste.
In one particularly mind-boggling breach, highly sensitive details of a US military missile air defence system were found on a used hard drive bought on eBay. Along with test launch procedures detailing the shooting down of Scud missiles in Iraq, the disk also contained security policies and employees' personal information such as social security numbers.
In fact, British researchers found a surprisingly large range and amount of information that could cause commercial damage or pose a threat to privacy, on over 300 hard disks bought at computer auctions, eBay and computer fairs.
It's clear that a failure to properly destroy data on obsolete devices leaves us incredibly vulnerable to the theft of sensitive information, such as passwords and financial records. But it could also land your company with a hefty fine.
In one case, NHS Surrey was fined £200,000 by data regulators following a data breach that lead to the loss of sensitive information about 3000 patients. They hadn't been a victim of a hack, but had simply failed to check that the data destruction company tasked with recycling their old computers had properly destroyed records.
"You will be responsible for what the thief does while using your personal information. You might have to pay for what the thief buys. This is true even if you do not know about the bills." - Consumer.gov
Crushing old computers simply won't cut it! So when trying to do the right thing by recycling, decommissioning or donating your old computers, it's essential to ensure that information has been completely and securely erased by always using a reputable computer recycling service provider. If you don't, and you fall victim to a data breach, it's you that foots the bill, not the recycling company.
The importance of responsible computer recycling has never been so vital, if you want to keep your organisational secrets to yourself. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration, to ensure ultimate data security.
It's also important to be aware that companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.
CDL offer collection from anywhere in the UK using our own fleet of vehicles and security-vetted drivers. Call us today on 01925 7330033 to speak to a member of our team, or fill out our online quote tool to obtain a free quote for your recycling and disposal needs.