Thursday, 4 December 2014

I am a Celebrity, Get my Data Out of There!



This week we have had the press in. On Monday we were photographed for the East Grinstead Courier and today we are being interviewed for Meridian 107FM, East Grinstead’s number one radio station, publicising our Christmas initiative

It is a very simple idea, actually. All the best ideas are simple. We want to help educate people about the dangers of throwing away their data, so we are offering to recycle their old IT equipment and wipe their hard disks for free if they drop the stuff off to us on specified days after Christmas. We are suggesting they make a donation to a local charity whilst they do so, but we are trying to ram home the point that old devices contain memories and that you don’t throw memories away.

Consumers are incredibly under informed on this subject. You can Google it and get some advice but it is mostly bad, and anyone who has tried to take something half decent to a council dump ought to be aware of what the dangers are. Because that is where old computers go when they are too old to play Football Manager anymore. You drop them off and the nice man in the hi-viz jacket rushes over and says he will take care of that for you.

If your hard disk still contains your data you are then in the lap of the Gods. Again, this blog does not wish to scare people, and I am not suggesting for a moment that large numbers of computers dumped like this are ending up in the hands of people who wish to steal your identity and empty your bank accounts, but why take the risk?
Your old domestic PC or laptop are worth next to nothing. Pennies probably. But your data is worth rather a lot more. Approaching someone like us and paying £5 to make sure you are safe is surely a better option than trusting to dumb luck?

However, I digress. We were talking about our initiative for the good people of East Grinstead. We are hoping for a good turnout, not least because it would be nice to donate a sizable cheque to charity in January. 

So if you are based in the area, tell your friends.

I was pleasantly surprised that the press guys saw the potential of the story. This sort of thing is both green and about nasty evil villains stealing your bank account details, so I hoped it would get some interest but no arm-twisting was necessary. We had fun trying to get some interesting shots of our data suite. I have to admit that it is not photogenic, and Ben and Aaron were most uncooperative about dressing up for the photo shoot (Short skirts and high heels were requested, they seemed to think I was joking!). So Jane had to drape herself over some laptops and wave some hard drives in the air.

Kevin the photographer played with the exposure and made it all look quite wonderful. I will try to show you more when we get hold of some of his snaps, but here is the one the paper used. Now we just have to make sure that we get our message across live on air and in the written copy.
Jane Taylor, eReco MD, laughing at one of my jokes...

Because this stuff is important. The second hand market is growing all the time and data is going to fall into the hands of the unscrupulous. We need to educate people. And if Hollywood pick me up and I have to leave you all behind, I wish you well. I certainly have the face for radio...