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Be wary when recycling e-castoffs

Destroy personal data before dropping off items

Recycler, Jim Goswell, of T.A.Predel Co. moves electronic recycled goods dropped off over one weekend on Monday morning.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Recycler, Jim Goswell, of T.A.Predel Co. moves electronic recycled goods dropped off over one weekend on Monday morning.
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In April, I brought a bunch of old cellphones, a fax machine, some computer keyboards and a tangle of miscellaneous phone chargers to a local electronics recycling event. The flier advertising the event assured that the recycling center hosting the collection would provide free, secure data destruction on all hard drives and storage media, so I dropped off everything without a thought to the information stored on the old devices. The products were unloaded from ...


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comments

safny
September 30, 2012
6:54 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I just brought some old computers, monitors and a few other things to Predels. I took the hard drives out myself before I took them there. Not because I don't trust the people at Predels, but because I was not sure what happened to them. A man there said that they take them to another place where they are all crushed. So at some point along the way or after they get there, who is to say no one could take something? I have three hard drives and after someone tells me how to disable them I will take them over as well.

GarySB
September 30, 2012
9:47 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

The simplest method is to physically break them apart, such as smashing with a hammer. But, if you don't want to deal with the debris, you can do what I do. I, using a portable dril, drill several holes completely through the case of the hard drive. Once the internal discs have had a few holes drilled through them, it would be impossible to spin them up to attempt any data recovery.

ed186
September 30, 2012
10:46 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Good article, I take my hard drives out and smash them but I like the drilling them seeing as though I have a drill press set up ready and waiting. But the cell phones that's another story, I will drill them too. TRUST NO ONE if you can do it your self.

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