E-waste refers to electronic devices that individuals and businesses have but no longer use. This is a growing problem that doesn’t just destroy the environment; it also puts business security at risk. Properly recycling e-waste is the only way to keep your company’s sensitive data safe.
From employee social security numbers to customer bank accounts, information can be stolen from your old, unsecured devices by cybercriminals. If you care about your staff, clients, and professional reputation, learn how e-waste affects your company’s security and take proactive measures to keep everyone safe.
Have you ever participated in a social media trend that asked you to share information like, “leave the make and model of your first car in the comments”? If so, you’ve made it easy for cyber thieves to hack into your disposed devices. Additionally, a quick scroll through Facebook will give them all they need to decipher your passwords.
Make sure you set strong passwords on all of your business devices. Even if you wipe your hard drives before disposal, create a passcode with random letters, numbers, and symbols that are impossible to guess.
Once hackers uncover your passcodes, they have free reign over all of your company’s private data. Tax records will have your employees’ full names, addresses, and social security numbers—this information is all they need to steal your staff members’ identities.
Before tossing your business’s old computers, eliminate these kinds of files. You can’t just delete them, as cybercriminals know how to uncover documents. Instead, invest in data security measures like overwriting or encryption to make files unrecognizable.
E-waste affects your company’s security by leaving you vulnerable to data breaches. Hackers can find your clients’ bank account credentials and credit card numbers if you keep them on file. They may also steal identity-confirming information that makes it easier for criminals to get into customers’ personal accounts.
Data breaches will ruin your professional reputation. Future clients will be hesitant to trust you with their personal information. This kind of crime is difficult to bounce back from, even if you weren’t the perpetrator.
Overall, e-waste compromises everyone’s privacy if you don’t take the right protective measures. If you or your staff keep personal photos and memories on work computers, those files are vulnerable to cyberattacks, too. Hackers can find ways to weaponize seemingly harmless things, like vacation photos and information about your child’s school.
If you’re upgrading your business’s technology, include secure e-waste recycling in your plan. This way, you can enjoy updated, efficient devices without worrying about compromising security.