If your business is like most small to mid-sized businesses, you probably have a closet somewhere slowly filling up with old, outdated, and unused computer equipment. We see a number of businesses whose operations are turning more frequently to the cloud and to mobile technologies to conduct operations. As that happens, the question of what to do with old technology becomes increasingly important.
Here are five things you need to know about how to get rid of that old gear.
You don’t have to go it alone
There are companies dedicated to the work of liquidating and recycling your outmoded IT assets securely and efficiently. CDR Global, an OKC-based asset disposition company, says this about recycling your old tech:
"The proper disposal of technology includes the overwriting of a system’s hard drive to ensure that the data that does remain on a system becomes useless to anyone who comes into possession of it. It’s like redacting a bank statement, making all the important stuff impossible to see, and turning what’s left into gibberish no one can understand."
Far too many small businesses either let their old technology – and the potentially dangerous information on it – languish, or they toss it into dumpster, where it becomes an even greater liability.
Old tech can be a security weak point
Data privacy concerns continue to be pressing topics in our increasingly digital world. But while we talk a lot about digital security – improving passwords and the like – we often don’t consider the physical security of our unused equipment. Erasing old files isn’t enough to prevent someone from stealing your data off an old drive. To be properly secured, those drives need to be erased and overwritten, sometimes repeatedly, to make the data inaccessible. This process can take 2-9 hours to complete properly for each drive you’re voiding. For your most sensitive data, it may make sense to completely physically destroy the drives with a hard drive shredding service.
You can’t forget mobile technology
With new phones and tablets coming out on a near-endless cycle, it can be easy to simply stash your old devices in a drawer, or send this off to an unknown recycling center, without making sure they’ve been completely wiped clean of sensitive data.
Just like your computer’s hard drive, the data on your phone can still be recovered, even after it’s been erased. A factory reset will not secure your data from a professional hacker. Taking your mobile devices to a reputable data destruction service will ensure your data is completely removed and the device rewritten before you recycle it.
There are EPA regulations
Disposing of old electronics, from computers to TVs, can be hazardous to the environment. These tools and toys have components made from heavy metals or other chemicals which can leak into the environment if not properly handled. No matter how it's disposed, the government considers your business responsible for its own waste.
To eliminate your company’s vulnerability to EPA fines, contract your asset disposition to a service that holds R2 certification, a sign of their compliance with federal laws on e-waste elimination.
You could make money
Finally, recycling your old electronics through an asset disposition service can make your company money. Because these companies generate revenue from the recycling of components and materials, they will often pay you for the assets you’re giving them to recycle. This means that not only can you dispose of old tech efficiently and securely, you can actually make money on equipment that was previously just collecting dust.