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Why Your Customer's Privacy Is At Risk When Recycling Old IT Assets

Why Your Customer's Privacy Is At Risk When Recycling Old IT Assets

We live in a world of other people’s information. All manner of devices contain data in memory chips and SIM cards as well as hard disks and solid state drives. Network appliances can contain all kinds of information and settings about a company’s infrastructure configuration, client data, and network contacts. Mobile devices are just smaller computers that have extensive memory capacity. Some of that data will relate to, or belong to, your customers.

In an age of GDPR, companies are right to feel daunted by this. If you’re feeling concerned about how much data is stored in your office, read on.

What Can Go Wrong?

Suppose you receive an email that contains a simple message: ‘we know your secret’. A threat to expose that secret quickly follows. Most people would dismiss this as a scam, but this email is different: unnervingly, it also contains a password you recognise as being one you use. This person really does seem to have access to your private data. Sounds far-fetched? It’s not. That’s exactly what happened to thousands of people in a fake blackmail scam. Criminals obtained email addresses and decrypted passwords that were stolen in a hacker attack. That’s just one example of how seemingly innocuous stolen data can be used.

Small Information Snippets Unlock Big Doors

It is not only blackmail scams that use this methodology. This basic technique tricks people into revealing confidential information, which is then used to access business systems for criminal intent. Networks of advanced criminals use small data snippets, such as a person’s date of birth, to target individuals. Sophisticated scams build up a number of pieces of disparate data to the extent that they can impersonate an individual with frightening accuracy. This can be extremely convincing and can fool victims into passing on security information. At its most extreme it can lead to people transferring company funds in the belief they are following valid instructions from a manager.

The Risks Of Inadequate IT Asset Disposal

Even when a company’s software encryption is up-to-date, in the wrong hands, it is a treasure trove of information. As these scams show, even tiny snippets of information can be extremely powerful tools in the murky underworld of organised crime.

In addition to this, from a corporate governance perspective, careless data protection measures potentially expose a company to charges of breaching GDPR regulations. This can carry significant financial penalties that pose a risk to any business.

What’s The Solution?

Protecting against data breaches when disposing of old IT equipment is simple. By engaging a professional asset disposal company such as Absolute IT Asset Disposals Ltd, you are assured that your data will be completely sanitised. By using a range of different techniques, all vulnerable areas within an IT system can be individually cleaned or destroyed. This means that the privacy of your business, your customers, and your network will never be compromised.

What’s The Guarantee That My Data Will Be Securely Destroyed?

Absolute IT Disposals Ltd are an accredited software company, so you can be confident that your data will be permanently wiped and therefore irretrievable. The process tracks each asset through a database and presents you with a certificate of disposal or destruction. This stands up to any audit.

Find Out More

Call us on 01332 371 989 to discuss your requirements with one of our certified data engineers.


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