Tech Tip: Be Safe with Your Data and the Environment

Getting rid of old computers or servers? Be sure to do it with safety in mind.

Did you know that the components used in technology equipment are not landfill-safe? On top of the environmental hazards, unprotected e-waste typically contains a lot of confidential and private information in the form of saved passwords, internet history and files stored on the retired computer or server.

As a first prevention step, find a local recycling facility where you can safely dispose of e-waste. And make sure to take the following #1 security precaution before you haul it off: remove and destroy the hard drives.

A drill and hammer usually do the trick just fine. Many companies that shred paper documents will also destroy your hard drives for a fee.

We offer free e-waste recycling services to our clients – just let us know and we’ll pick up your old hardware and make sure it’s properly recycled.

Be sure not to forget about your other e-waste materials, such as mobile phones, copy machines and any other device that ever touched your company data. Give serious thought to what data could be retrieved from any device before you recycle the equipment.

Protecting your company’s data security is critical, just as it is to avoid e-waste problems at your local landfill.


Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.


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