November 01, 2019

Before getting Rid of E-Waste

Aside from climate change and food wastage, e-waste disposal was highlighted as one of the areas Singapore should focus on, according to a report by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR). Many assume that once you throw away your old devices, they are out of sight and mind.  However, the consequences of improper e-waste disposal are as dire as a physical data breach.

What exactly is e-waste? E-waste refers to electrical and electronic equipment of any kind that has been disposed of. Common e-waste examples include infocomm technology (ICT) and equipment, including laptops, mobile phones, modems, desktops, and hard disk drives.

When discarding e-waste, it is crucial to note that any information stored on the system itself must be erased before destroying the physical machine. Leaving data on devices puts you at risk of being exploited by data mongers and data thieves, potentially leading to severe consequences of data theft and fraud.

In line with the Personal Data Protection Commission's (PDPC) guide, all data on devices should be destroyed and made irretrievable, when no longer required. Consider a professional third-party secure document company, such as Shred-it, to give you peace of mind when it comes to destroying documents and data. Shred-it practices a secure destruction process for hard drives, which includes:

  • Collecting your hard drives from your premises and transporting them to the data destruction facility in securely locked, GPS-tracked vehicles;
  • Each hard drive serial number is scanned and recorded at the Shred-it facility;
  • The drives are securely destroyed at the Shred-it facility using a conical and dedicated hard drive crusher;
  • While waiting to be recycled or incinerated, destroyed material is stored in secure, locked cages monitored by security cameras
  • A Certificate of Destruction and the list of hard drive serial numbers are provided for your verification and assurance.

In addition to offsite data destruction, Shred-it also offers secure and tailored onsite shredding of e-waste with specialised trucks equipped with shredding equipment on board. The truck is sent to your location to securely destroy e-waste before it is then sent on to be recycled.

Testament to Shred-it’s processes, Shred-it has also received the General Waste Disposal Facilities (GWDFs) license issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA), assuring customers that their e-waste is not only securely destroyed but also recycled in a manner that does not harm the environment.
It is important for individuals, as well as organisations, to take a holistic approach when it comes to managing e-waste. More emphasis should be placed on destroying e-waste securely to avoid data theft, which can lead to detrimental impacts and monetary penalties by the PDPA and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Start protecting your business
An organisation that integrates data protection into its business processes can reduce the data breach risk and PDPA non-compliance to the PDPA. Learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents and hard-drives by contacting us for a free quote and security risk assessment.