Sunday 24 September 2023

Protect your data and dispose of your electronics correctly

Be sure to back up sensitive or sensitive information and, if necessary, take precautions to remove all information from your devices before disposing of them.

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QCOSTARICA – If you want to replace your computer, tablet, cell phone or any other device, take the foresight not to expose the information you have in your electronic items, which usually store personal or business documents, confidential documents, passwords and even bank information such as credit card details. credit, among others, which could be used by third parties if the “cleaning” of the device is not done before discarding it.

In Costa Rica, it is estimated that approximately 67,000 tons of waste of electrical and electronic equipment

According to Gustavo Conejo, an expert from the Big Data del Colegio de Profesionales en Informática y Computación (CPIC), it is important that in the case of companies an information security policy be defined, and for this, it is essential that the people assigned to the assets establish a classification of the information. In this way, correct controls can be applied for the corresponding destruction or backup.

“Regarding elimination or destruction, the specific rules for the safe disposal of information are defined. In some cases, the physical destruction of the medium will be required using specialized equipment; In other cases, because it does not contain sensitive information, companies or people may use low-level formatting software,” said Conejo.

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He added that in the country there are certified companies that can perform the secure destruction of magnetic media containing sensitive or confidential information; with a formal certification of the process.

In the case of tablets or cell phones, the SIM card and microSD memories must be removed, if you have them. Subsequently, it will be necessary to restore the factory settings, to delete all information.

On the other hand, when disposing of the device, it is recommended to remove the rechargeable batteries and recycle them separately, as they contain harmful substances that should not end up in landfills. Some electrical devices contain heavy metals such as bromine, lead, lithium and mercury, which without proper waste treatment would contaminate the environment and could harm health.

Experts recommend that if the devices still work, the ideal is to offer them on the second-hand market. If these do not work, it is recommended to dispose of them correctly, such as taking them to specialized recycling centers.

According to data from Solirsa, in Costa Rica, it is estimated that approximately 67,000 tons of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RAAE) are generated annually, of which only about 5,100 tons (approximately 8%) are recycled by the formal system.

The remaining more than 60,000 tons per year are mixed with conventional garbage, and collected by the informal sector or have an unknown destination, which entails potential irreversible damage to the environment and human health.

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Source: Revista Summa

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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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