Businesses in the South West are reminded that if they record personal information on computers, laptops, servers or even mobile phones, they have a legal responsibility to protect that information under the Data Protection Act — even after they have stopped using the equipment. Data Protection is always a priority while the equipment is in use — firewalls and security protection prevent this data from being accessed without our knowledge. But what about when the equipment is replaced? Many businesses deal with this by simply keeping their old PCs, laptops and servers. It is relatively common to find a little (or sometimes large) pile of old IT equipment in the corner of a warehouse somewhere. But this is literally just storing up a problem for later. So how do you deal with this redundant IT equipment?
Richard Connock of secure IT disposal experts BLACKMORE RICOTECH offers some advice: “The most important thing is complete and irrecoverable data destruction. There have been plenty of high profile cases recently where sensitive data has been recovered from hard drives long after the user thought it had been deleted. The truth is, you can’t simply delete files from a hard drive. Everything that has ever been stored on the drive is still accessible even after the files have been deleted — you’ve just got to know where to look. The only way of completely destroying the data is by a process known as pattern wiping — overwriting the data again and again until it is irrecoverable.”
Richard continues: “Some of our clients ask why they can’t just ‘smash it up with a hammer’? This is an option I suppose; although there is no guarantee that the data will be completely destroyed. Equally, and some would say at odds with the Data Protection Act, is the Government’s WEEE directive that insists that businesses re-use and recycle as much of their electronic waste as possible. Difficult when it’s in a hundred pieces!”
Richard concludes: “The best advice I would give businesses is to find a fully accredited IT disposal company that will destroy all sensitive data on your redundant equipment and then re-use or recycle it according to the WEEE directive. Look for a company that are professionally accredited and will supply you with a data destruction certificate and Environment Agency paperwork that proves you have met all of the relevant obligations that apply.”
So, there is a way of safely and securely disposing of your old computer, IT and telecoms equipment. In fact, if you have enough of it, this could be managed free of charge; or even generate a rebated income for your business!
To find out how BLACKMORE RICOTECH can manage your secure IT disposal, get in touch. Call 0800 880 3678 today
If you would like to be kept up to date with changes to Data Protection or WEEE legislation, together with other important information that could affect your business, why not subscribe to our newsletter service? Rest assured, we will not share your information with anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time. To stay informed, simply enter your email address and click the SUBSCRIBE button.