Your Data Can be Used Against You!
You may think there is nothing worthwhile on that old computer or old phone. Perhaps it does not even turn on anymore.
However, consider this. If someone were to recover all of your contacts from that device and also recover your web-browsing history, what would you do if they emailed you with the following threat: “we will send links to all of the websites you have visited in the past year to all of your contacts, friends, and family, unless you pay us $x by the end of the week.”
For most of us, that might be a laughable attempt at electronic extortion. But then maybe you don’t want all of your business contacts to know your politics, or the gambling sites you’ve frequented, or your passion for Big Foot hunting. Information need not be illegal or morally compromising to be embarrassing under the right circumstances, and therefore worth money to the bad guys.
Even in the post-privacy world, business and personal information has value and there are consequences when it ends up in the wrong hands. Here are 15 reasons to make certain your data is either secured or properly destroyed.
- A credit card may have been used and/or saved on the device.
- The device may have been used to transmit or save tax data.
- The device may contain personally identifiable information (birthday, social security number, address, etc).
- Online banking may have been performed on the device.
- Password or PIN numbers may be on the device.
- Email addresses and logins may be saved on the device.
- Contacts may be saved on the device.
- Private or sensitive pics, videos, and communications may be on the device.
- Browser history (the websites you have visited) may be saved on the device.
- Business trade secrets or plans may be on the device.
- Many devices now have built-in backup, meaning that everything you thought you deleted may still be there.
- Just because your computer, phone, or other device is broken or no longer usable DOES NOT MEAN the information is gone!
- Destroying old hard drives and towers can free up additional office or home space.
- Any of the above pieces of data could be leveraged by criminals to gain more information or money.
- Businesses often face large fines and legal fees if customer data is breached because it was not properly disposed of.
At Protec, we specialize in data destruction, including hard drive shredding, along with recycling a wide variety of electronic devices. In a world where the average smartphone user acquires a new device every 18-21 months and computers are replaced every 3 years or so, it’s important to know where safe, secure recycling is done.
Located in Birmingham, Protec is Alabama’s premier electronics recycling service. Give us a call today at 205-549-2120.