Identity theft tops the list of complaints filed with the FTC every year since 1999. Last year 18% of all complaints filed were related to identity theft.
Where do these criminals get your personal information from? Well, one way of getting all your private data, like social security numbers, and credit card or bank account information, is from your hard drive (figure 1). Every computer or laptop has one; it’s what stores all your data. It houses the hard disk, where all your files and folders are physically located. A typical hard drive is only slightly larger than your hand, yet can hold over 500 GB of data. The data is stored on a stack of disks that are mounted inside a solid encasement. The data is stored on the hard drive magnetically, so it stays on the drive even after the power supply is turned off.
Figure 1: Hard Disk Drive
At GreenCitizen, we take your data security seriously. If you drop off your computer or laptop for responsible recycling, we can destroy your hard drive for $20 to make sure all the sensitive data is gone. We will extract the hard drive from the device and track it, down to the serial and model number. Once the hard drive has been tracked, we will crush it with a special hard drive crushing machine and send you a Certificate of Destruction that will list all the hard drives we destroyed for you. This way you have proof and guarantee that your private information won’t end up in the hands of criminals.
We also offer a certified cell phone wipe. Smartphones store a lot of data these days….and taking out the SIM card won’t do the trick. The information is actually stored inside the device.
So, what are you waiting for? Drop off your old smartphones and computers for recycling at GreenCitizen. And while you’re at it bring your old TVs, monitors, appliances….actually bring all your unwanted electronics and we make sure they are recycled locally and responsibly. We have 5 drop off locations in the Bay Area: San Francisco, Burlingame, Berkeley, Mountain View, and San Jose. By recycling with us you are enabling us to open more drop off locations, providing free electronics recycling for more Bay Area residents. Be part of the movement…be a GreenCitizen!