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Printers can store sensitive documents and should be securely destroyed when thrown away

Posted at 6:25 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 14:00:21-04

HELENA — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) are advising people to make sure all the data has been cleared from electronics before disposing of them, especially printers.

Many modern electronics like TV’s and smart appliances are capable of storing data.

Printers can store documents that they have been sent to the device.

Businesses should make sure all if that data has been cleared before getting rid of it since they could contain sensitive data about the business, clients or personal employee information.

“Before you resale or you get rid of your printer find out how to wipe that hard drive and either do it with an override of the system or physically destroy it,” said Hannah Stiff, BBB Montana Marketplace manger.

406 Recycling specializes in secure electronics disposal.

Owner Matt Elsaesser said when they get any electronic that can store data they treat it like there’s confidential information on it.

“It varies but some of [the printers] do have actual hard drives,” said Elsaesser. “That big printer in the officer might be taking jobs on a network. So one of the first thing we do is pull the hard drive and shred that.”

Elsaesser added it’s always a good idea to make sure items that contain personal data are securely and responsibly destroyed.

Friday, October 25 is 406 Recycling’s monthly Electronics Recycling Event at Good Samaritan (3067 North Montana Ave).

The event accepts most electronic waste-- like printers, cell phones and televisions-- with a suggested donation to Good Samaritan.

Some items do require a fee due to the amount of work it takes to recycle them, such as cathode ray tube (CRT), console and projection televisions and microwaves.

Batteries are generally not accepted.

Good Samaritan says the monthly event has been a big help in both donations and services.

“We get a lot of donations in through the store that are unusable, broken, damaged or outdated,” said Michelle Hughs, Good Samaritan Warehouse Production coordinator. “We recycle our electronics through them and it’s a great partnership.”

406 Recycling’s monthly Electronics Recycling Event will also take place on November 29, December 27, January 31, February 28, March 27 and April 24.

More information about the event can be found on 406 Recycling’s website.