Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire performed a study examining secondhand hard disk drives and found they often contained data from their previous owners.
The first Tech Talk radio show of the year with Marc Saltzman featured CBL talking about data recovery, hard drive tips, data deletion and more.
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.
As the landfills pile up around the world, how safe is it for our discarded tech to end up in e-waste ‘mountains’?
This gallery of pictures from The Guardian gives a brief visual glimpse of the challenges of e-waste recycling and global efforts to reduce waste focusing on recycling operations in Guiyu, China.
If you have a computer that you are getting rid of you need to take special care of the data you have stored inside it. Whatever information you have saved on the hard drive inside: photos, documents, financial files, passwords, emails — personal information, does not simply go away if you hit delete or drop stuff in the Recycle Bin.
Ben Popken at NBC did a video showing some low-tech solutions to this problem. He trashes hard drives with everything from hammers and baseball bats, to submerging in water and burning with fire. Watch the video after the jump.
On the occasion of Earth Day, we reflect on a lurking issue – E-Waste. Often underestimated in size, global technological growth also produces an amazing amount of waste annually. When you think about the amount of devices that you have gone through, from PC hard drives to cellphones, and then multiply it by your neighborhood, city, country….where do all those electronics go?
New report numbers out of the United Nations’ StEP Initiative proclaim e-waste as one of the world’s fastest growing streams of waste production. StEP(Solving The world’s E-waste Problem) was set up to tackle the growing and often underestimated problem of electronic waste. According to figures, last year 50m tons of e-waste was generated. This is following the predicted trend that in the next four years e-waste will grow 33%.
We’ve talked about data safety and protection before. Besides the destruction of information from crashes and deletion, threats to your data’s safety come in the form of threats to its security, and that affects your privacy.
Tech columnist Brian Krebs has a great article where he tries to tackle the challenge of explaining why a hacker would want to get into your PC. What’s interesting is that most of the items listed are some sort of data or personal information.
Used electronic devices are often discarded in the cheapest way possible to some of the world’s poorest countries. Watch a recent TV report on location in Ghana that gives a glimpse into the conditions of the scrap yard/slums that e-waste is being collected and dumped in.
The mountain of electronics we have and eventually need to get rid of is always growing. The need to dispose of old electronics like cellphones and tvs as well as computer hardware in laptops and desktops shows no sign of slowing. But that does present some challenges with regards to how to minimize the amount of e-waste we produce as well as the impact and threat to sensitive information.
The movement to promote E-cycling is strong in Ontario, Canada.
Check out this promo video about drop-off locations:
When you drop-off an old computer for e-cycling, what information is still on the hard drive inside it? We made CBL Data Shredder for this sole purpose. Keep reading to find out more.
Good news this week comes in an update from the Consumer Electronics Association on their ‘eCycling’ initiative reporting a big increase in electronics recycling – up 53% in the past year! Are you one of the growing number of people that are seeking out drop-off locations for used computers and electronics? Be reminded that you should wipe any hard drive before discarding or recycling it to protect yourself from any potential privacy threats or criminal activity.
The only thing we love almost as much as getting back our customers’ data is preventing it from falling into the wrong hands. The privacy of your information and importance of protecting data is a crucial part of what we do and of our digital society today. Getting rid of old hardware is one challenge, but what about the files and data stored on computers? Friend of Platter Chatter and tech reporter extraordinaire, Marc Saltzman, recently highlighted some key points about safely deleting data in Costco Connection magazine.
When the State of New Jersey was preparing to put a bunch of old computer equpiment up for auction to the public, it didn’t realize it was about to auction off the private data of members of that public. State Comptroller Matthew Boxer was reviewing the sale of hundreds of computers that is a usual occurrence in the state office when he discovered that the “hard drives in 79% of the machines had tons of private data on them” still! The sale was stopped thanks to the auditor’s investigation, but there is little doubt that the state had already been selling computers with confidential data on them for some time.
PBS Frontline aired a feature about the Digital Dumping Ground in Ghana where so-called e-waste is being dumped last night. The footage revealing, exposed not only the disastrous environmental and social impact the giant amounts of electronic equipment waste is having on Ghana, but also a further side-effect: the risk of unwiped data being discovered and used for criminal activity from discarded hard drives!