Hundreds and even thousands of computers, televisions, mobile phones and other electronic equipment is dumped every month. Inside these pieces of equipment are precious metals and other components that are worth money to anyone willing to take them apart to retrieve the insides.
There is also something else that may still be sitting inside and it represents an identity risk to anyone who has unwittingly thrown them out. The hard drives of computers and personal devices may still contain data that can be recovered, representing a possible risk to you and your personal wealth or identity.
There are ways to retrieve data that has long been thought to have been removed or obliterated and with so many thousands of tons of equipment being dumped every year it is almost unthinkable that none of it contains personal or corporate information.
It means that before any computer is left out on the sidewalk for rubbish removal or taken to a recycling depot, the owner should have first gone through the proper methods of wiping the data. Are you sure that you know how to do this? I’m not sure that I am a hundred percent sure myself.
Recently in Australia it was revealed by a television program on the SBS network that Australian e-waste that was being dumped in Ghana could be presenting data management issues for companies and individuals in Australia. The program demonstrated exactly how the data recovery process could take place.
The idea that sending out old electronic equipment for dismantling in a way that would be environmentally friendly is now representing a security and financial risk means that fewer people are going to be inclined to do it in the future. It is not clear what the alternatives might be now that this potential danger has been revealed and more people become aware of it.
I guess opening up the computer and physically removing the hard drive and destroying it may be the sensible thing to do. The question then is, who here knows that what they are looking for when they open up a computer CPU?