Cyber Security Risk of Old Technology

After the holiday season, with hundreds of thousands of electronic products being purchased and received as gifts, the thought of getting rid of older items is not uncommon. Especially with all of the latest models of smartphones, televisions, gaming consoles, and other technologies constantly upgrading their software and models, it is no surprise that many find it unnecessary to keep their older models. Researchers agree that the idea of disposing of old technology is the last thing consumers should do and could have a negative effect on the safety of one’s personal information. By throwing away an old phone, laptop, desktop, etc., previous owners are enabling anyone to be able to access personal hardware or data. Whether it be embarrassing content, information that may potentially affect future job opportunities, or whether or not potential perpetrators may be able to access unauthorized data to personal bank accounts, many will agree that nobody wants their personal information in the wrong hands. To help solve the problem, companies like ERI, one of the world’s biggest e-waste recycling firms, along with retailers like Best Buy and Staples now offer data-deleting services that recycle and refurbish programs in unwanted items. Also, many local city or town governments offer other recycling options. For those seeking other options, selling an older model is an effective method, such as utilizing websites that purchase used electronics directly. In addition, for those who choose not to recycle, reuse, or sell their older items, another option is donating to the many charities that collect items like video game consoles to help families in need. Whatever option you choose, remember to be sure to eliminate all of your already existing information to be sure that you and your personal data is safe from future owners.