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January 13, 2012No Comments

How To Create a Recycling Plan For Wireless Gadgets | e-Cycle

Wireless technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, have become essential tools for leading enterprises. But what happens to these invaluable tools when it’s time for new technology? Often, a startling transformation occurs: in just one day, a device which was once so critical is simply cast aside as “obsolete” and “worthless.” As an IT solution provider, implementing a responsible mobile buyback and recycling program can be one of the easiest and most rewarding IT cost-cutting solutions you can offer your clients.

More than 150 million mobile phones are retired in the U.S. each year, but less than 20 percent are reused or recycled. Pollutants from electronic devices now represent 70 percent of the toxins in our landfills. In fact, one mobile phone in a landfill can contaminate up to 40,000 gallons of water.

However, more than 50 percent of mobile devices still retain a significant resale value, even after 18 to 24 months of use, and can be reused in secondary markets where the technologies are valued and needed. Every organization should have an asset recovery plan in place to recoup this revenue to help offset the cost of supplying their workforce with the latest technologies.

But what is a “responsible” mobile buyback and recycling program for electronic gadgets? It is a program that ensures you maximize the return on your customer’s wireless investments while protecting their sensitive corporate data. It uses wireless recycling partners that are e-Stewards Certified and continually audited to ensure proper data security, hazardous e-waste disposal and worker protection through the entire downstream recycling chain to final disposition. With these safeguards in place, you can help your clients advance their sustainability initiatives while protecting their private data and their bottom lines.

Here are some tips for maintaining a sustainable, secure and profitable mobile phone reuse and recycling program

1. Work with e-Stewards, such as certified mobile buyback and recycling companies. Our company was calling on an extremely large U.S. financial institution whose representative said that they already had a buyback and recycling solution in place through an “approved vendor.” Having never heard of the vendor, we decided to research the company.

After further investigation, we discovered that the vendor was actually a residential address using an unsecure, open garage to collect and refurbish mobile devices to sell on eBay. Toxic batteries and parts were being stored, discarded and shipped in unlawful and unethical manners. Needless to say, the institution immediately ceased all business activities with the vendor.

Before choosing a mobile buyback or asset recovery partner, make certain that they are e-Stewards Certified. Be wary of any recycling vendor that is vague about their recycling process and downstream partners. You should expect complete transparency and documentation of all business practices.

2. Mobile data security isn’t just restoring the factory settings.There are several mobile buyback and recycling Web sites, especially those with consumer-driven divisions, claiming “complete data deletion.” However, if you take the time to read the fine print in their terms and conditions, most will state that they take no responsibility for deleting the private data.

But there is much more to data security than simply restoring the factory settings on a device. When choosing a recycling partner, you need to examine their device-specific deletion methods, quality assurance testing practices, third-party verification audits, facility security, hiring policies, liability insurance coverage, and other procedures.

3. Do not trust your employees or third-party software with data deletion. It is a great advantage if your client has the resources to invest in remote data wiping solutions. However, even after resetting a device to factory settings, there are still applications and hidden menus that may still contain data, including owner contact information, passwords and pin numbers. Human error happens. Be certain your mobile buyback company has rigorous processes in place to permanently remove the data on every device as well as secondary quality assurance testing.

4. Make certain carrier services are canceled prior to reselling or recycling devices. Accidentally retiring devices that still have active service plans is a serious security risk due to continued data transmissions. It also often results substantial financial losses due to unnecessary carrier service charges. In the case of one of our large financial clients, it resulted in a loss of tens of thousands of dollars per year. Be sure your chosen wireless recycling company includes active phone line testing as part of their services and that they provide a complete list of devices (with phone numbers) that are found active.

5. A “destroy only” policy is bad for the environment and your budget. Corporate-liable devices that are not properly retired—stored in closets and desk drawers, directly donated to charities, trade-in programs or simply given to the employees—may expose confidential data. In an effort to battle security threats, some companies develop a mobile ‘destroy-only’ policy.

This physical destruction of reusable devices results in lost revenues, additional disposal expenses, energy waste and increased greenhouse gas emissions. It also denies bootstrapping entrepreneurs throughout the world the opportunity to reuse these technologies to build their businesses. Secure wireless reuse is great business.

6. Use mobile buyback as part of your corporate caring plan. Mobile asset recovery offers a viable alternative to traditional charitable donations and sponsorships. Your clients can choose to use a portion or all of their revenues as a tax-deductible charitable contribution.

For example, one of our large financial clients contributed more than $44,000 to a local hospital this year by donating a portion of their buyback proceeds. Additionally, a leading non-profit hospital raised more than $40,000 for two charities, including a local food bank. Half of the revenues from their mobile devices provided more than 60,000 meals for hungry families this year alone, and without impacting their budget.

7. Measure the environmental impact and celebrate your success. Have your wireless recycling partner provide you with annual environmental impact statements that measure the positive impact of your reuse and recycling programs. Report and celebrate the success with your clients.

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December 20, 2011No Comments

Reducing the Security Risks of Employee-Owned Smartphones and Wireless Devices | e-Cycle

Employee-owned devices are becoming challenging to enterprise mobile security policies however there are a number of ways to control these ever-growing wireless security issues. Two of the most important factors to consider when moderating the security risks of employees’ personally owned devices are what level of support your company is willing to offer associates with non-company-owned devices and how these devices will access data.

There are several different approaches businesses take when dealing with the security of these mobile phones. Many organizations allow their employees to access email on their personally owned devices. Because most smartphones have active sync capabilities, these devices can be easily configured by the end user and the process requests a fairly low level of support. In other organizations, employees are permitted access to additional business data on their wireless devices however they are not provided with technical support through the IT department. Yet another option that businesses offer is full data access with a full level of IT support.

The varying methods of data access may also determine the level of IT support. When employees require a higher level of support, such as client/data server access, businesses may prefer that employees utilize company-owned and supported devices. However, an associate using a web portal on their mobile device to retrieve business data requires a much lower level of support because this system lacks complex software running on the end user’s device. In this situation an employee-owned device may be the appropriate choice.

Though data security is always a challenge with small businesses, understanding your options will help to keep employee-owned devices protected. The development of mobile VPN created the opportunity for simple implementation of mobile security options. Tools such as, device lock as well as lost and stolen phone tracking capabilities, are essential for today’s mobile enterprise security. Utilization of a Microsoft Exchange email server enables the opportunity for password protection, requiring end users to enter a password before accessing their email. This facilitates mobile phone security enforcement through the cloud. In the event that an employee leaves your organization, the Exchange server allows an email account to be easily removed from an employee’s mobile device by eliminating their access to the corporate email account – including all stored mailbox data. Revoking an employee’s credentials upon the severing of the employee relationship will discontinue their ability to login to the company server.

Businesses and organizations, both large and small, are making the transition to employee-owned devices. By making this switch, companies are eliminating the associated mobile phone expenses however they need to be aware of the potential issues that could arise from these personally owned devices. Most importantly, business owners need to establish a mobile security policy that includes password protection for the sensitive data contained within these wireless devices. These steps ensure that if a smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, the company’s confidential information will remain protected. These devices were designed to increase worker productivity not cause extra stress, so offering employees technical support for their personally owned devices will keep them working efficiently and prevents aggravation with these technologies.

For more information or to view the full story How to Reduce Smartphone Security Risks at

e-Cycle provides enterprises with secure end-of-life mobile phone asset recovery and recycling
Trusted by more than 7,000 organizations nationwide, including some of the largest companies in the world, e-Cycle delivers industry leading data deletion services to eradicate and protect sensitive data on your businesses’ used wireless devices. Our high-security work environment and processes have been meticulously designed to maintain the utmost protection of your confidential information. e-Cycle not only provides a rigorous, end-of-life data security process but also offers our clients a complimentary mobile phone recycling and wireless buyback services. To find out more on e-Cycle’s mobile phone asset recovery, recycling, and data deletion services, visit

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November 15, 2011No Comments

Mobile Phone ‘Destroy-Only’ Policies – Bad for business, the environment and your bottom line | e-Cycle

In an effort to battle ever-increasing mobile security threats, many companies choose to develop an end-of-life electronic ‘destroy-only’ policy to combat these issues and ensure that their confidential information remains secure. Data deletion and asset recovery, however, offer alternative options that are both environmentally friendly and cost effective.

Physical destruction of mobile devices not only requires additional destruction and disposal expenses but also contributes to the growing issue of electronic waste. Since most smartphones retain 50% or more of their retail value even after 18 months of use, developing an asset recovery program within your organization will put money into your telecom budget and allow for upgrades to the newest mobile technology.

Asset recovery and recycling companies will purchase your functioning devices and prepare them for reuse in secondary markets. According to the EPA, reusing an electronic device saves up to 20 times more energy than recycling alone. Reusable mobile phones and devices purchased by an asset recovery company are sent through data removal process to permanently delete private information. Devices that do not still retain resale value are shredded and the materials recycled in an eco-friendly manner.

If your company policies prevent your organization from receiving a check back for your wireless devices, inquire with an asset recovery organization on alternative options for payment. Monthly bill payments can often be made directly to your wireless carrier. With ever increasing budget constraints, mobile phone buyback also offers a creative way to raise money for the charity of your choice. Your company can raise money through a mobile buyback program and a check can be written directly to the charity on your behalf.

With electronic waste representing 70% of the toxins in our landfills, it is imperative that organizations put policies in place to address this crucial growing issue. Mobile data security is a serious concern, but a destroy-only policy wastes energy and new revenue opportunities. Studies have shown that extending the service life of the phone from one to four years decreases the environmental impacts by about 40%. Recycling and reuse of your organization’s mobile phones will ensure a safe and sustainable end-of-cycle program that keeps the toxic materials inside of wireless phones out of landfills and ensures your sensitive data remains secure.

e-Cycle’s Mobile Phone Asset Recovery, Recycling and Data Security Solutions
e-Cycle delivers solutions for the security and sustainability issues that encompass end-of-life mobile phone procedures.  e-Cycle will purchase your used, functioning mobile devices that still retain resale value as well as delete all private data and recycle non-reusable devices at no charge. Our rigorous of data security process provides our customers with peace of mind that their confidential company information will remain secure. With a zero landfill policy, e-Cycle shreds all devices that cannot be reused and the materials are recycled in an ISO Certified, EPA-registered recycling facility.

For more information, visit or contact or (877) 215-5255.

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October 12, 2011No Comments

Tips to Actively Prevent Corporate Mobile Security Attacks | e-Cycle

As threats to mobile data security become more common each day, businesses and organizations have a major responsibility to protect sensitive corporate data. To prevent company information from being compromised, businesses need to take a proactive approach to this growing issue and ensure their confidential information remains secure.

Cybercrime has become a lucrative business and is no longer limited to individual hackers. These criminals will use advanced, undetectable methods to steal data and wreak havoc on corporate networks. Many corporations are taking an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” approach to mobile security. While enforcing current mobile security protocols is an essential first step to the process, company mobile security procedures need to be reexamined and adapted to manage emerging trends.

When creating or modifying mobile security policies, companies need to consider not only the authentication of devices but also how devices are used outside of the corporate network. Another important factor businesses need to take into account is the accessibility of these devices to third parties such as employee family or friends. Overlooking any of these circumstances can lead to instances of inadvertent compromising of confidential company information.

Social Media has also become a big issue for mobile security threats. Not only does this media produce direct risks such as malicious links, these news feeds cause unintentional dangers as well. Social media has caused a cultural evolution in how our society communicates both on a personal and corporate level. While posts to Facebook and Twitter may not cause an immediate mobile threat, the analysis of various feeds could allow a hacker to track a users location or find weakness in a corporate network.

While social media provides unique marketing tools, it also provides an opportunity for security breach. Employees can unintentionally leak confidential company information through social media outlets. Companies need to develop a corporate procedure for social media etiquette and incorporate this into employee training to encourage proper online conduct. It is essential for businesses not only to implement security protocols but also help employees understand why it is crucial to implement them. Educating employees on current trends and increasing mobile threats will help prevent against security breaches.

The use of cloud computing is creating a large mobile security concern as well. When confidential company data is outsourced to third party vendors, businesses need to be aware of data management and accessibility. Organizations need to know their partner, understand their partner’s privacy policy and ensure it is being enforced.

Despite these and other security risks on mobile devices, the security initiatives are at the beginning stages. Corporate policies need to be modified so they apply to new and expanding technologies. Waiting to change these policies until there is an issue is a risk that companies cannot afford to take. Reviewing existing business procedures, consolidating IT infrastructure and implementing educational sessions among employees will all provide a level of defense to protect businesses from mobile security threats.

For more information view the full story Common oversights in enterprise data security by Kevin Kwang at

e-Cycle provides secure end-of-life mobile phone asset recovery and recycling for businesses
Mobile phone security is becomes more tempting to hackers and cyber criminals everyday. Trusted by more than 7,000 organizations nationwide, including some of the largest companies in the world, e-Cycle not only provides complimentary mobile phone recycling and wireless device buyback services to businesses but also provides these organizations peace of mind through rigorous, end-of-life data security processes. To find out more on e-Cycle’s mobile phone asset recovery, recycling, and data deletion services, visit

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June 28, 2011No Comments

Apple Now Selling Unlocked iPhone 4s – Upgrade to the Latest Unlocked Apple iPhone 4 Through e-Cycle’s Corporate iPhone 4 Buyback Program | e-Cycle

Apple is now offering all the features of the iPhone 4 with the option to activate the device on the GSM wireless carrier of your choice. This new iPhone provides the ideal solution for users who do not want a multi-year service contract or prefer using local carriers when traveling abroad. In addition, e-Cycle can help your organization upgrade to the latest iPhone technology by providing asset recovery for your company’s used mobile phones.

In the past, the iPhone 4 has been sold with a micro-SIM card or a small memory card that stores user wireless account information. The unlocked iPhone 4 will arrive without a micro-SIM card and users will simply obtain a micro-SIM directly from a GSM carrier.

GSM or Global System Mobile Communications is an industry standard and is used by most carriers around the world. Buying an unlocked iPhone 4 allows users to choose their own GSM carrier and because they are not committed to a long-term contract, GSM users have the ability to change carriers at any time. The unlocked iPhone 4 will also work with GSM carriers worldwide. Frequent travelers can even use multiple carriers.

For companies making the switch to the new unlocked iPhone 4, e-Cycle’s Apple iPhone buyback service delivers a simple solution for an upgrade. Not only will e-Cycle purchase your organization’s used iPhones, but also provide complimentary mobile data security and recycling services. e-Cycle data security experts will evaluate each device, erase all sensitive data and responsibly recycle all non-functioning mobile phones at no charge to the customer.

e-Cycle works with nearly 7,000 organizations nationwide, including some of the largest companies in the world. Since its inception in 2005, our company has purchased or recycled more than seven million wireless devices.

To find out more on e-Cycle’s mobile phone buyback, recycling, and data deletion services, or to request a quote, visit

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March 1, 2011No Comments

The Verizon iPhone Reviews are In! | e-Cycle

The anticipation for the release of the Verizon iPhone was built slowly over the course of many months, with some of us waiting years for this device. Now the waiting has paid off, as the Verizon iPhone has finally been released to the general public.

This has meant a number of things. It offers the iPhone to an entirely new segment of cell phone users who did not want to previously switch providers. More importantly, it also adds a competitor in the iPhone game, which was a segment of the cell phone world that used to be owned by AT&T.

With so much excitement surrounding the release of the Verizon iPhone 4, it would be difficult for it to live up to such lofty expectations. However, the reviews surrounding its release have generally praised the phone, citing its strong call quality as a major upgrade over the AT&T version. Fewer calls are being dropped and users are experiencing a clearer and more enjoyable conversation on this phone.

What else are the reviews saying about the Verizon iPhone 4?

From a hardware standpoint, there isn’t much that differentiates this from the previous AT&T iPhone. Most of the reviews choose to focus on the reliability that the Verizon network brings to the iPhone. Calls are consistently connected on the Verizon iPhone 4, offering users uninterrupted and high-quality phone conversations.

By all accounts, the Verizon iPhone 4 is just as good as its predecessor, if not better. Verizon has managed to address the issue of call quality that has plagued the iPhone in the past, making this version of the iPhone 4 a perfect choice for many consumers.
With the number of positive Verizon iPhone reviews that are out there, you might be thinking of switching over to this exciting new phone. That being said, you will want to sell your iPhone (or any other mobile phone) to not only make some money, but to protect our landfills from electronic waste.

Sell your iPhone to e-Cycle today and rest easy knowing that your data will remain private as well. Plus, it helps to know you’ll be getting a great new phone in the Verizon iPhone 4.

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January 26, 2011No Comments

iPhone 4 Commercials Play to Verizon iPhone and AT&T | e-Cycle

With the announcement of the Verizon iPhone two weeks gone, Verizon and Apple have already begun promoting their new partnership.

The first Verizon iPhone commercial was posted this past weekend on Verizon’s YouTube channel. The commercial plays upon the years of waiting from iPhone and Verizon customers through a series of ticking clocks, with the last turning to 12:00am and a woman whispering “Thank You”. There is no mention of AT&T or the Verizon Google Android, leaving the commercial strictly Verizon iPhone.

A second iPhone 4 ad aired this past weekend, this time put out by Apple. The ad shows two iPhones working side by side on the same processes but with slightly different images and websites viewed. Ending with a side-by-side FaceTime conversation, the iPhones are removed to show both AT&T and Verizon logos followed by “Two is better than one”. In contrast to Verizon’s ad, Apple’s iPhone 4 spot nods to both providers, showing each as equally important to the iPhone 4.

Whether customers stay with AT&T or switch over to Verizon, the iPhone 4 remains the best choice for smartphone in 2011. With the fastest processing system, HD video, 5 megapixel camera and access to the world’s most popular App Store, a Verizon iPhone or AT&T iPhone 4 are both wins.

You can let e-Cycle help you get the most out of your iPhone 4 by selling us your old AT&T iPhone or other wireless device. We’ll be sure your private data is securely removed and your phone is recycled safely, preventing any environmental damage.

Once you’ve got your new iPhone 4, you can use your buyback money to buy apps or iPhone accessories and know you’re doing something good for yourself and the environment.

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