Kaspersky Lab Invites Users to Reflect on How our Digital Footprint May Shape the Future

Kaspersky Lab’s interactive multimedia project Earth 2050 has been accumulating predictions about environmental, social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years since its launch in 2017. As Earth Day approaches, the company is inviting users from around the world to think about the future and contribute their thoughts to questions such as: If cars will be automated, how can we ensure passenger safety? How will our digital footprint impact global temperatures? Will machines take over the world?

This Earth Day, Kaspersky Lab is extending an invitation to all users, researchers and futurologists to contribute their environmental, technological and social predictions to the Earth 2050 site. The portal, which is divided in three time categories- 2030, 2040 and 2050- can help users shape their ‘vision of the future’ by exploring the more than 200 predictions already online and contributing their own thoughts to the site.

According to the “Global E-Waste Monitor 2017”, distributed by United Nation’s University, the International Telecommunications Union, and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), the volume of garbage created by e-waste has increased due to the inappropriate disposal of electronic devices. To put in perspective, 44.7 million tons of electronic waste was generated in 2016, an 8% increase when compared to 2014. In addition, experts predict a 17% increase in e-waste for 2021, or 52.2 million tons.

In observance of Earth Day, Kaspersky Lab offers the following tips to take into account before recycling electronic devices:

·Store your data safely: Modern iOS and Android devices tend to sync with cloud automatically, so your contacts, photos and other data are most probably saved in your Google/Apple account. But you’d better check it by browsing through your new device, making sure everything is present.

·Erase your digital footprint: In addition to eliminating the files and personal folders on your PC, it is also imperative to erase your favorites, stored passwords, cookies and history on your web browser, as well as e-mail and instant messaging applications such as Outlook, Skype and the like.

·Remove SIM cards: Anything that has data on it and can be physically removed from the phone should be removed before tossing the phone away.

·Erase properly: It is not enough to place all of the documents in the recycle bin of your PC and press the “Empty recycle bin” button to permanently delete all the files. It is recommended to use a trusted tool designed for the permanent removal of this information, such as the “Shredder” tool that is included in Kaspersky Total Security multi-device.

·Restore your device to factory settings: The instruction manual of your device will detail how to perform this step. Remember, you must select all options to delete information (including stored files) and confirm. You can also use a security application, such as Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, which includes a feature for wiping data. This app is also capable of remotely wiping personal data from a phone, in case you happen to lose it.