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16 January 2019
Information Security

Best practices for secure disposal or re-use of mobile devices and other equipment

When a mobile device comes to the end of its lifespan, it is very important to dispose of it securely. People who get hold of old mobile devices and computers can steal data from them, which can lead to serious problems for the business and its customers. Let’s take a look at how businesses can safely re-use or dispose of old media and equipment.

How to Securely Re-Use Media and Equipment

Re-using old media and equipment is often the least expensive and most environmentally responsible option. However, it also poses security risks. Simply deleting sensitive data does not prevent someone with the right technical skills from restoring it. Even reformatting the hard disk is not completely secure: it does not erase data from the disk, only the address tables that make it easy to find the data. Someone with specialist knowledge would still be able to recover the data from the reformatted disk.

A safer option is to wipe the computer using a specialist tool. There are free software eraser tools that can make disks secure for re-use. This can be quite slow, and it is very important to check that the tool is trustworthy by reading reviews before using it.

Hardware tools can also surely wipe hard drives. They are faster to use, but more expensive.

How to Securely Dispose of Media and Equipment

If a business cannot re-use old media, perhaps because it is broken or outdated, then it is essential to dispose of it securely. Simply tossing old computers, mobile devices, or storage into the trash can lead to criminals getting hold of it and stealing the data.

The safe way to dispose of unwanted media and equipment is to use a specialist disposal provider that can guarantee the security of any data stored on the devices. It is also possible to use suitable in-house resources to destroy the equipment so that no data can be recovered from it. However, for companies without specialist knowledge of data retrieval and secure disposal methods, the safest option is usually to work with a specialist disposal provider to ensure security is not compromised.