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Season Of Goodwill? 5 Crucial Data Sanitisation Questions To Answer Before You Donate Old IT Assets This New Year

Data-Sanitisation

The months after Christmas are often a time to have a good clear out. For organisations, upgrading to new IT systems is an excellent opportunity to donate old computers, tablets, and associated hardware to schools or charities, or to sell them on. However, there are a few important considerations to make before pressing go on eBay. 

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1) Why Should I Recycle Old Computers?

IT equipment such as computers and tablets contain many components that should be recycled or reused. These include rare metals such as Neodymium, and hazardous metals such as Lithium. Ideally, computers should be used and re-used until their full working potential has been exhausted, ensuring that none of their valuable elements are wasted, and to reduce pollution. As such, it is strongly recommended that companies find a proactive asset disposal solution for unwanted hardware. 

 

2) What About Data Security?

The most sustainable option for computing hardware normally involves multiple stages of ownership – with assets being restored, upgraded, and resold (or donated) several times. Unless the correct sanitisation is carried out, however, this can carry several cyber security and data risks. One of the most significant is data protection, especially when hard drives have been used to store sensitive customer information. Even after a factory restart or a DIY wipe, enough data fragments remain to pose a security threat. Therefore, data security should be a primary consideration when donating used technology, and most sellers replace data-bearing components before placing refurbished IT hardware on the market. 

 

3) What Does The Law Say?

Legally, IT donations or resale can be a complex area. Organisations have considerable responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 2018, and – although this has yet to be put to the test in the law courts – the harvesting of sensitive data from old technology may land the previous owners in hot water. As such, it is sensible for companies to take every precaution when making socially responsible gifts of unwanted items. Thankfully, there are straightforward strategies to ensure that old technology is made safe. 

 

4) What Can I Do To Ensure That My Old Tech Is Donated Or Re-Sold Safely?

Cleansing and sanitising an old computer or tablet requires purpose-designed software. Companies such as Absolute ITAD invest in this on your behalf, creating a cost-effective way for organisations to use the most up-to-date processes for ensuring complete security when repurposing unwanted technology. Professional services also benefit from having the required certifications, including Commercial Product Assurance (CPA) and National Technical Authority Assurance (CESG) approval. For clients, this means the assurance that all sensitive data will be reliably and efficiently removed.   

 

5) Is It Worth It?

Computers that have life in them should never end up in landfill. Sensitive data should never be accidentally sold on. As such, comprehensive IT asset disposal can help to improve sustainability whilst ensuring security. Organisations that opt for the tried and tested approach that companies such as Absolute ITAD use can make the process of donating old equipment safe and hassle free. 

 

What Next?

For more information about how to dispose of your IT assets safely and cost-effectively, or to find out more about how recycling old technology can enhance your sustainability profile, please get in touch today. 

6 Hidden Dangers Of Free IT Recycling

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