Clearing data before recycling IT equipment

July 28, 2014

Data Destruction Image

Protecting personal data has become a priority for many companies, with the risk of hacking and identity theft at an all-time high. Most companies take sensible steps to protect their data when it is in their IT system, but they can overlook the importance of removing that data once the IT is no longer needed.

As IT needs to be responsibly managed before it can be discarded, it is important that the company makes sure that data is cleared away promptly. This can be done either through the IT department, or by employing a business to handle data wiping.Many companies make the mistake of discarding computers which still contain data on the hard drives. This data might have been overlooked when the equipment was removed from the IT network, or the business might not realise that just deleting files is not sufficient to take away all of the other data which has been left on the system. Simply deleting everything that is visible is not sufficient to get rid of all the information left on the hard drive and some of that data may be enough to allow people to access the company’s information, including banking details of clients. Failure to remove this information is taken very seriously by trading officials and in the past, companies have been fined for this failure.

The most important step when removing data from IT equipment is to scrub the hard drives. Even a reformatted hard drive, supposedly wiped clean, can be restored sufficiently to expose data and information. Only by using effective data wiping software can companies make sure that even if information remains on the hard drive, it is still unreadable to data recovery programs. Always, before employing these data removal systems ensure that data is saved somewhere else on the IT network.