Upgrading Your Office, Know How to Protect Company Data from Old Devices

How to Protect Company Data & Safely Dispose of Old Devices

Entering the new year, I bet there are lots of exciting new changes for you and your business. One of them might be the luxury of new devices around the office space. New work mobiles, laptops, computers or even tablets. We can easily get wrapped up in the excitement of using new tech but we mustn’t forget our old devices gathering dust.

Your old devices will most likely contain personal or confidential company data. Before you decide to clear up some office space and chuck out the old work computers, it’s important that you erase the data to prevent it from falling into the hands of criminals.

61% of all data breaches involve stolen credentials, so you need to dispose of your old devices properly to prevent potential attacks on your business down the road. Here is how you can make sure.

The Simple (but not 100%) Method

Factory resetting the device will do the trick for casual smart device users or businesses with no confidential data. This is a procedure that restores the device to its original settings and removes all data at face value. This can be completed on any smart device and computer, with the feature being found in the settings, it can be performed in a matter of minutes. A quick google search should quickly reveal how to factory reset your specific device. This method is the easiest way to guarantee your data has been somewhat erased before parting ways.

I say somewhat because this method doesn’t entirely erase a device’s data. While data seems to have disappeared, it can still be recovered by various software that can retrieve deleted files.

The Nail in The Coffin

If your business handles a lot of confidential data, such as payment information, customer details etc. you need to take things a step further. While there is software to restore deleted files, there is also software to entirely wipe your device’s hard drive (for good).  This specific software rewrites the entirety of the hard drive to ensure no trace is left and the previous data is irretrievable. It’s vital to do this because if not, anyone who performs a google search will learn how to recover your supposedly deleted files. You’ll find plenty of various products online that can do the job and are all reasonably affordable.

Once that has been done the next step is to physically damage the device for 100% certainty. An example is drilling multiple holes through a hard drive. This sounds extreme but must be done to get complete assurance confidential data cannot be retrieved and used against your business.

*If you’re in the government sector your data might need to be sent off to official sites to get verification of its proper destruction*

These extra steps can seem excessive, but lucky for you there’s an easy way. If your business is partnered with an IT Provider, they handle this for you. They will thoroughly perform each step so you can rest easy knowing company data won’t fall into the hands of criminals.

Not Safe Just Yet

In addition, any online accounts created with the device must also be deleted. This is important if you no longer have the device in your possession and want to ensure that no one else can access your data linked to those accounts. Closing online accounts associated with a smart device will help prevent security breaches or unauthorised use of personal data.

Summary

This post provides guidelines for properly disposing of old smart devices to safeguard your data and privacy. These steps include properly wiping the device’s data and closing any associated online accounts. These precautions can help prevent company security breaches and protect your personal information from being accessed without your permission.

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