May 3, 09:29 AM

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Repeat.

As we look back on a month full of earth appreciation, common themes of recycling and waste prevention efforts prevail. A topic that experiences significantly less exposure during these conversations is the topic of e-waste recycling. However, a recent news story making headlines across the nation is already causing waves of change. Sparking newfound conversations around e-waste is the topic of the recent arrest of e-waste guru, Eric Lundgren.

A committed computer recycler strongly opposed to planned obsolescence and e-waste, Lundgren argues that our used electronics “[leech] harmful chemicals into our water table andthe food we eat and … the air we breathe.” His 21 federal indictments, however, came not from this stance, but rather from controversy between Lundgren and software giant, Microsoft.

What is e-waste?

If you’ve ever upgraded to a new model of laptop or desktop computer, one question you may have had was probably what to do with the old model. If you’re like 95% of the population, that old model is currently sitting under your bed collecting dust and has been for years. There’ surely a better use for this perfectly good lump of metal and plastic, you’re just not quite sure what it is.

One option is to sell or recycle your old computer and possibly get some cash for it. That’s what Lundgren was doing when he started his computer recycling business at 17. But his concern for e-waste, or discarded electronic devices, is what led him to using restore CDs to restore older computers back to their original factory settings – something Microsoft claimed was #illegal. Unfortunately, Microsoft filed this incident under “sales of counterfeit operating systems” and valued the discs at $25 a piece, stating that “the license for the operating system does not transfer, as Lundgren claimed, and refurbishers are required to obtain new licenses.”

Welp. There goes that theory.

Lucky for you, there are many other ways to approach this idea of e-waste recycling – and to do it responsibly.So, what are they?

If you’re in the market of considering all options, another choice would be to keep your old device and start over with a clean hard drive. Those hundreds, possibly thousands of stored files don’t just go away after a couple of years of neglect. If, until now,you’ve been scared to face the monster under the bed, there’s really nothing to worry about. In fact, we have just the right weapon to arm you with. And we promise this one won’t put you behind bars.

Data Shredder

While your data may be safe for the time being, once you decide what to do with your old electronics, you start to run into some security issues. As soon as your computer leaves your hands, everything that is left on it is up for grabs.Any confidential information such as bank statements, photos, tax files, and credit card numbers can easily be retrieved.

That is, unless you take the precautions necessary to safeguard your personal information.

You’ve heard all the basic steps for keeping your online information secure:

  • Create a strong password… the more confusing and hard to remember, the better
  • Turn on two-factor authentication… just make sure you’re always next to your phone
  • Update security questions… if your favorite food is pizza, you may want to reevaluate

These are all valid suggestions that we’d highly recommend if you haven’t implemented them already. However, these measures fly out the window if you’re moving to a new device and need protection for what’s stored on the motherboard. What you need is something a tad more permanent. Something that not just provides another safeguard against hackers, but that gets rid of old information altogether – CBL Data Shredder.

Since banking, bill paying, and taxes are now conducted online, an alternative digital method for shredding e-statements is a must have. While Data Shredder doesn’t physically “shred” the files, it will overwrite your entire disk with a pattern of bits, digitally masking the underlying data. Overwriting your data in this way renders hardware-based recovery methods near impossible.And did we mention it’s FREE? So, after you decide to put that old computer up on Facebook marketplace and hope for the best, you can be confident that you’re not putting your personal information up for sale also (even if Facebook is).

If you’re conscious of the environmental impact of e-waste and want to do something about it, take heed of our advice. We know that laptop under your bed was probably doomed from the start; why not make good use of it?

What about data recovery?

On the other hand, if you’ve undergone any kind of (unintentional) data loss, we know how frustrating an experience this can be. Maybe you were forced to get a new device because you thought that damage rendered your old one unusable, hence, why it’s now under your bed. While most hard disk manufactures will offer to replace a defective device for you, they won’t offer to service it.

Our mission at CBL Data Recovery is to reclaim lost, inaccessible data from internal hard disk drives, RAID and servers, tape media, and more. So, if you’ve lost access to critical files through damage or disk drive failure – all hope is not lost.We encourage you to seek the help of our professional technicians who are ready and able to service your device. Before you make the conscious choice to add yet another device to your growing graveyard of neglected electronics, consider the alternative.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Repeat.

Category: helpful hints, data loss prevention

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