Getting rid of your old computers and other office and IT equipment? Unless you want your business metadata being sold on the Internet along with your disused computers and other equipment, a good idea when decommissioning is to be aware that you need to protect your private and sensitive proprietary data.
When you consider how much highly sensitive information is stored in your company’s computer hard drives, in scanners and fax machines, mobile phones, CDs and DVDs the right way to dispose of it when the time comes is an important part of your business housekeeping.
You might think nobody would want your ‘old’ computers, but old to some might not mean old to others, depending on their budgets. Some companies change their laptops,computers and other office gear once a year, others leave it for two to three years and customers on a budget could be using the same equipment for much longer than that.
What to do with your old computers and IT equipment
If your employees’ computers are deemed ready for replacement send an email out to them, or to whomever is using the devices that you want to upgrade, telling them their PC’s working lives are up.
Give details on the return of their present models so that the IT department can backup their data, and tell them they will be getting new computers and/or other devices.
Identify transferable software and note that some applications might be transferable but operating systems are not able to be transferred to the new computers or devices.
Then your IT department can transfer the applications to the new computers or devices.
After your techs backup the data, you have to decide whether to use a computer disposal company to clear the computer’s data or to get the tech department to wipe it.
You also have to make sure all the passwords are wiped.
Find a reputable disposal company knowledgeable in the best way to dispose of your old computers and office waste.
If you will be disposing of the computers yourself, remember charities these days don’t want the older models. They prefer computers up to one year old, though some might stretch to two.
So, it’s best to find a data destruction company offering to securely and confidentially dispose of your e-waste by shredding and degaussing the computer hard drives, and if your employees’ old mobile phones or other office equipment is included in the decommission, safe destruction of these is important as well.
Most reliable data and computer equipment and e-Waste destruction companies use industrial shredders and granulation so your old computers and equipment ends up as three-millimetre dust particles. However, your recycling vendor should be someone you see as a partner you can trust, so do your checks on them, and if they fit the bill, hire them and work with them to create a secure and clear process of recycling that suits your needs. Then you can be sure no eBay buyer will strike it lucky and have your old computers plus all your sensitive corporate secrets at their disposal.