The Most Important Thing You Can Do When Discarding Old Computers

When your business is cleaning out old equipment or upgrading to new hardware, you’ll want to be sure your old computer parts are completely destroyed. Most business owners know that their hard drives are full of sensitive personal information: bank records, employee records with social security numbers, customer information, tax records, and more. Obviously business owners know they’ll need to make sure the hard drives can’t be accessed. So they delete – or wipe – the hard drive, and consider themselves responsible. But when discarding old computers, that isn’t enough to keep your information from potentially landing in the wrong hands.

Close up of piled up old computer parts waiting to be recycled.

The Biggest Mistake

Many companies choose to donate or bring their old devices to a recycling event for old electronics. If you dispose of your old computer parts without shredding the hard drives, you are putting your data at risk. Neglecting to thoroughly destroy hard drives can leave your information vulnerable. It’s important to note that a hard drive that has been wiped can still be accessed by someone who knows what they are doing. It’s not as hard as you might think to retrieve data, and someone with this knowledge and a little bit of time might be able to access sensitive information you thought was gone forever. Before choosing to recycle your old computer, check with the company hosting the event to find out how they dispose of the items and whether or not they shred the old equipment. If they don’t, it’s recommended that you find someone who does.

Erasing Isn’t Enough

While the risk is low that your old computer parts might be found by those who would be interested in looking for useful data and know how to retrieve it, that risk is not zero. And when you have any sensitive financial or customer information on that hard drive, all it takes is one breach.

Many businesses simply delete the files on a hard drive, look at the “empty” hard drive status, and consider it done. This level of erasing is never enough. Someone looking to steal your data may still be able to retrieve the files you thought you’d erased. Even overwriting the hard drives can leave your information susceptible to sensitive data theft.

Keep Your Company Information Safe

Shredding your hard drive to the point of total destruction is the only way to completely ensure that your old computer parts won’t be able to come back to haunt you. Removing the hard drive and smashing it to pieces can be satisfying but isn’t practical for most businesses. Not all Data destruction services have the equipment necessary to completely destroy your old computer parts by shredding them. Look for a company that does that in house. Some services might boast about shredding your old electronics, but in reality they send it out to third parties for shredding. To be secure, it’s important you know where your old parts will be till the end and in what form. Most business owners understand the need to have a data destruction service take care of their paper information, so it makes sense to have that same service you trust to provide a shredding service for your hardware and old computer parts as well. The right choice in data destruction services will be NAID certified, provide you with a record of destruction, and recycle everything responsibly.

Your business is built on trust, and with your sensitive data you can never be too careful. All it takes is one slip to put your business and customers at risk. It simply isn’t worth the nightmare that a data breach can bring. Shredding your hard drive is a simple way to dispose of old computer parts in an environmentally friendly and secure way. Here at AccuShred, we understand how important the security of your company data is. Trust our certified team of professionals to handle all of your data destruction needs. Contact us to learn more about our on-site services, destruction capabilities, or to assess your company’s cybersecurity and best practices.