Data Breaches and the Importance of Picking the Right E-Waste Recycler

In the course of regular business, companies tend to generate surplus electronics and e-waste as a byproduct of doing business. But disposing of these assets safely and responsibly can be a challenge. Not only may electronic waste contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment, but it may also store sensitive data that business is duty-bound to protect.

Many organizations, therefore, turn to reputable third-party e-waste disposal experts. Reliable third-party e-waste disposal providers have systems in place that remove potentially hazardous chemicals while also ensuring that they destroy company data safely and effectively.

Data Breaches Are Becoming More Common

Data breaches are a significant issue in today’s economy, affecting some of the largest businesses in the world. Take internet search giant Yahoo, for example. In 2016, the company announced that it had been the victim of a massive data breach which compromised more than 3 billion accounts on the platform, leading to clean up costs of more than $350 million. The breach knocked a considerable amount of value from the company too. Other companies that have fallen foul of data breaches since 2014 include Equifax, eBay, JP Morgan Chase, and Home Depot.

The Pitfalls of an Unreliable E-waste Recycler

Choosing the right recycler to process e-waste is one of the most critical decisions a company can make, but not all providers are the same. Many do not put in place the right protocols to ensure that company data remains secure, and this can sometimes lead to damaging data breaches.

There are three main ways that unreliable e-waste recyclers can cause a data breach:

  • En-route to the recycling facility. Many unreliable e-waste recyclers collect e-waste from company premises and transport it by van to a third-party location for destruction. Although this might seem like a good idea, there could be a breach of data or product theft during transport before the e-waste arrives at its final destination.
  • By reselling components. Many e-waste recyclers try to make a quick buck from recycling company e-waste by improperly salvaging parts and selling them outside of contracted terms. Often recyclers will merely “delete” data rather than erasing or overwriting it, raising the possibility that a hacker could recover proprietary company data.
  • By failing to check employees. Ultimately, e-waste generators rely on trust of their recycler, but many recycling companies do not even do basic background checks on their permanent employees, much less temporary employees. An untrustworthy employee could potentially take information and equipment to use for their own nefarious purposes.

The Importance of Choosing a Certified Electronics Recycler

Choosing a reputable electronics recycler should be a priority of companies with sensitive data needs. But how do you know if your particular recycler is reliable?

All reputable recyclers should have multiple certifications. These certifications mean that an e-waste recycler has demonstrated to a third party that it meets auditable specific requirements.  These requirements, at a minimum, include; data security safe while in its possession, proper worker safety and environmental protection throughout the entire recycling process. Third-party auditors ensure that companies providing these services are using industry best-practices to protect customer’s sensitive information.

ARCOA is among the leading recyclers of e-waste in the country. ARCOA has earned R2, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 certifications through our diligence to proper handling of data and environmental concerns while protecting workers at all parts of the process. Countless companies trust ARCOA with their sensitive data because of our data destruction guarantee.  For more information on data protection and recycling your surplus or obsolete electronics, or to request a quote for your company, contact us today!


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