News & Views

When IT becomes old

With the return to the office hot on the business agenda, we ask Andrew Morgan, Co-founder, HardSoft Computers (www.hardsoftcomputers.co.uk) for his thoughts on what companies need to remember to do when recycling employees laptops.

“There are a whole host of different things you can do with your old laptop – from donating it or recycling it, to selling it and refurbishing it.  But whatever option you chose, it’s important to wipe the data held on the device along with all passwords.”

“Unfortunately, the vast majority of businesses believe that a laptop with a dead battery, or a device with a broken on/off switch that can’t be turn on is safe to dispose of.  This is not the case.  If an employee’s laptop falls into the wrong hands, those with the skills and know-how can still hack into the laptop and access its stored data.

“Before parting with the laptop, it’s important that both data and content is backed up either on a USB drive, external hard drive, and cloud-based storage.  Then it is important to destroy the hard drive or wipe it completely – this is the only way to protect against data breaches.”

“If a company chooses to recycle the laptop – it is still important to wipe everything off the hard drive.  Whilst many businesses are likely to first to dispose of old devices at their local recycling centre, a better option is to donate it to a specialist charity who will refurbish it and send it to a developing country, or donate it to a youth centre or school, assuming it is in good working order.”

“But for a business, one of the best ways of dealing with old equipment is to trade it in (www.hardsoftcomputers.co.uk/services/apple-and-pc-trade-in/) as many IT suppliers are in a prime position to refurbish old equipment for donation to local charities.  In doing so, they ensure that all data on the equipment is fully deleted according to MOD standards.”

The full blog can be found at www.hardsoftcomputers.co.uk/blog/tech-support/what-do-you-do-with-an-old-laptop-in-the-uk/