E-waste recycling programs are available in many countries, including the United States. To properly recycle an electronic device, different factors should be considered depending on the equipment. Recycling a music player, for instance, may require less preparation than a computer. Computer Recycling wants to have a candid discussion about safe data destruction for large businesses and facilities such as hospitals and schools.
Technically, a computer is considered an electronic device, but certain devices are handled differently because of their ability to harness valuable personal data.
Electronic recycling encompasses a large number of devices. Depending on the location, this can include medical equipment and entertainment devices such as stereos and televisions. Devices with internet access do have the potential to be misused if the data isn’t thoroughly eradicated.
Recycling an old computer can be done through multiple channels. A computer can be refurbished, donated as-is, or used for parts. Many people discard laptops or smartphones because the software is no longer working. If the device itself can operate, a professional can refurbish a computer and then sell it or donate it to another individual.
The typical electronic waste recycling program can include computers. During this process, electronic waste is frequently exported. Once the used electronics have reached their destination, they will be thoroughly sorted for parts. By separating specific building materials, glass and plastic can be reused for other purposes.
The building material inside electronic devices can be hazardous without the proper safety guidelines. Many devices include metal toxins that can be dangerous. Copper, aluminum, and circuit boards are separated to later use as raw material.
What Is Data Destruction?
Companies like Computer Recycling will handle data removal. This type of service is designed for digital media that is often connected to the internet. Devices such as smartphones, laptops, and even some electronic readers all contain personal data even if a computer is not currently in use.
Computer data is known as information that a computer has stored. This information is more than just numbers. Types of data found in digital devices include text documents, audio clips, software programs, and images. When the Computer Processing Unit processes this data, it is stored on the computer’s hard disk.
Data stored on a computer can be confidential. Businesses that have sensitive information stored on a device may need to consider secure methods for electronic removal. Large corporate businesses and schools may be legally bound to proper data destruction & hard drive shredding.
Hospitals, in particular, are bound to confidentiality policies, including data usage. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects the privacy of patients throughout the United States. Health plans, providers, and care are expected to be confidential.
Just because a computer ceases to work properly does not mean the data has disappeared. Many individuals can still retain information from computers that seem broken. By hiring a professional organization or company to remove data, personal information such as keycodes will no longer be accessible to strangers.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 16.6 million people have experienced an incident of identity theft. Proper data removal can help combat this problem by destroying personal information from personal and company devices.
Using technical devices can feel like an anonymous transaction. This is especially true when purchasing products or researching information. Even if there is little or no social communication, this information is still processed by an electronic device.
To preserve personal information, certain electronic recycling companies offer pick-up services to large institutions or businesses. Computer Recycling can handle a variety of electronics used in a hospital setting. This can include computers as well as medical equipment. By using professional data destruction, hospitals can be compliant with HIPAA.
The Process of Data Destruction
Professional data destruction involves shredding hard drives. By destroying a hard drive, information will not be able to be recovered. Once this part of the device has been shredded, it can effectively be recycled for metal.
On-site data destruction involves professionals working in the institution or business. Trained technicians can visit the facility to remove and destroy hard drives within the presence of others. For businesses who want to see this process for themselves, this is an ideal option. Companies with dozens of computers may also prefer this service so that computers do not need to be hauled to another location.
A professional service that provides data removal for the purpose of recycling electronics will understand the legal aspects necessary to follow the law. After fully complying with privacy laws such as HIPAA or DOD, a certificate of destruction will be issued.
Reformatting vs. Removal
Reformatting a hard drive is not the same as data destruction. Even data that appears to have disappeared can often be recovered by using specific software packages. To remove information, the safest way is through the destruction process.
Overwriting can be used to replace previously stored data. This can significantly reduce the risk of exposing personal data but is not considered secure. The overwriting process can be done to DOD standards by an individual or a professional but is not advised in a professional setting where sensitive data from multiple people could be discovered.
Data destruction is imperative for the safety of individuals. Personal data that is leaked through electronic devices can have dramatic consequences involving confidentiality and potential identity theft. Hiring a well-versed company with the laws surrounding privacy can help ensure the legal standards and overall ethics of digital data.