I read this anecdote and just thought “Really?”, but then I thought of how often I read stories like this and the number of people who do just toss a device without thinking about the data that is stored on it, and I’m not surprised:
“Shegerian: I once had a big, big bank call me up: “John, we’ve had a breach, but we don’t believe it’s phishing or software. We think it came from hardware.” I go out there and it turns out one of their bankers threw his laptop in the trash in Manhattan and someone fished it out. On that laptop was information from the many clients of the entire banking firm—and the bank’s multibillion-dollar enterprise. The liability, the data…God, just absolutely priceless.”
The book they are talking about sounds interesting, and a bit scary. Yes, all of these electronics not being disposed of properly are a risk to the environment, and it turns out that the data on them might be a risk to all of us as well.
Think about both of these things before you decide to get rid of some older devices, and consider letting a reputable company deal with recycling them instead. The risks you’re taking are not worth the little bit of money you’ll save by just throwing them away.
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