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How to safely get rid of an old company computer

Information is the lifeblood of modern business, with more data generated and collected on computer devices than ever before.

Most firms are well aware of their responsibilities when it comes to protecting sensitive data stored on desktops, laptops, servers, tablets and mobile phones.

Companies are accustomed to the need for good cyber security with strict rules, policies and controls in place to minimise the risk of hacking or other unauthorised data breaches.

A recent Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) report found more than four-fifths of medium and large firms have taken steps to improve cybersecurity in key areas.

But while data security controls have become commonplace, you can’t scrimp on cyber security once a piece of IT equipment becomes redundant.

Charity computer recycling

At Born Good, we wipe devices to the highest government standards to ensure no data is retrievable so they can be fully refurbished - ready for resale or charitable donation.

At the same time, the equipment can be used to fund a carbon offset programme through our environmental partners, and we have a 0%-to-landfill pledge for any items we can’t repurpose.

How can cybercrime be prevented?

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) guidance recommends that business sensitive information should be removed from devices to prevent unauthorised access once it leaves your control.

Some wrongly assume that pressing delete or emptying the recycling bin is enough to erase data. It is not. Hard drives need to be reformatted and wiped clean before any sensitive information is fully removed.

You can’t assume that because a laptop or PC is broken that the data inside is irrecoverable to someone in the know. 

Used hardware is a ‘soft-touch’ target for cybercriminals whose activities cost the UK economy an estimated £27 billion a year.

Intellectual Property (IP) theft from business has the greatest impact at an estimated £9.2 billion per year, according to the Cabinet Office.

There’s also the risk of sensitive personal information, such as employee records, being found on second-hand hardware putting them in jeopardy while breaching data protection laws.

Dispose of data under GDPR

The theft and sale of such data is a highly lucrative and fast-growing ‘black market’ – with organised crime gangs using increasingly sophisticated methods and expert knowledge to help them steal the likes of financial details.

One of the areas on which they prey is accessing data from IT equipment that has become damaged or been disposed.

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 set a maximum fine of £17.5 million or 4% of annual turnover for infringements.

Remember the rules cover ‘both accidental and deliberate’ incidents with a legal duty placed on organisations to ensure personal information does not fall into the hands of criminals.

Is leaving that old laptop out for the council to collect or worse still an opportunistic fraudster really worth the risk of a hefty fine and the possibility of a PR nightmare?

Secure IT disposal – eliminate risk

Dumping IT equipment without proper sanitisation is not only bad for the environment, but it also puts your business, customers, and others at risks.

The only safe option is to have the hard drive professionally removed and either wiped or securely destroyed.

Born Good has been working since 2016 towards a circular economy, partnering with global businesses and public authorities.

Our erasure system wipes data to the highest government-backed standards, protecting businesses from cyber harm. 

We offer secure collections from across the UK and only use our own drivers and vehicles to guarantee the security of the data that may be contained within your equipment. 

All processes are fully compliant with the WEEE directive and full documentation is provided for each item.

We can supply an on or off-site crushing service for highly sensitive data and we always aim for 0% landfill.

After using our system, disposal, recycling, selling or donating your device can be done with peace of mind.

Get in touch today to talk about shrinking your IT waste footprint as safely, simply and profitably as possible.