How to stay secure with your e-waste disposal

secure with your e-waste disposal

When disposing of electronic devices, there are several things to keep in mind, which we call end-of-life management. It’s not as easy as throwing your e-waste in the trash and getting on with your day. Your device will contain a lot of personal data which needs destroying or risks leaving yourself open to data theft. So, to help explain the process, we’ve provided you with a quick guide to disposing and recycling your e-waste.

To stay secure, you should “wipe” your hard drive when selling or disposing of your device. Computers have folders, back up folders, cloud storage, password auto-fill and more. To ensure your data stays safe, we suggest you contact the professionals to take care of your e-waste disposal. E-Waste services provide peace of mind that sensitive data residing on decommissioned computers or storage equipment is not able to be accessed by the wrong people. It renders the equipment useless, protecting any data still stored on the device.

If you want to do-it-yourself, simply deleting files won’t cut it. Even if a file name doesn’t show up on the list of available files, the old file data is still there until it is overwritten and, in the wrong hands, a data recovery program could retrieve it. To stop this:

Delete and overwrite sensitive files: This should be done with software designed for secure deletion. Only wiping your drive after this means your files will be securely erased.

Turn on drive encryption: You often find this under your ‘security/privacy’ settings. You add a password and restart your device to activate.

Deleting browsing history: Most browsers save your browsing history and usernames/passwords from various sites. To stop strangers accessing this sensitive information, you should clear all browsing data.

Uninstall programmes: Whether Microsoft Office or The Sims, we suggest uninstalling all programmes that may contain data. You probably won’t be aware of how much access programmes have to your data.

Deauthorize computers: Some programs, such as iTunes and Microsoft Office 365, only allow you to install software on a limited number of computers or allow a limited number of computers to access your files. So be sure to deauthorize your old computer with your accounts – before uninstalling your programs.

These technical steps are all necessary to manage the process properly. Forgetting to destroy any data can leave you open to hacking. This is why expert guidance can be central to properly disposing of e-waste. Whether it’s a hard drive, removable memory, server, or work computer, destroying and deactivating data is an important step to protect your information and your privacy.

Also consider recycling your old devices or donating them to schools or charities. It is estimated that about 2% of e-waste is recycled, which means that the remaining 98% is thrown away. These electronic devices contain toxic materials that are harmful to the environment, so recycling can make a big difference.