The economy is picking up. Business is getting better. You finally have the budget for a computer refresh. Once the heavy lifting of your refresh is done, you will presumably be left with the proverbial bone yard of relic monitors, printers, desktops, laptops, and servers. So what now?
What to do with your used computer equipment is an easily overlooked step in the IT refresh process.
Do you resell? Donate? Recycle? Moreover, what you do with those used hard drives containing confidential information is a serious question that needs thoughtful consideration.
Perhaps your first question to ask is whether or not you have the resources in house to manage the e-waste disposal and data destruction process from start to finish. If the answer is “yes” to this question, it would be wise to dedicate one or more employees to stay current in all of the rules and regulations governing data destruction and e-waste recycling. If the answer is “no,” fortunately, there are companies that specialize in e-waste recycling and data destruction.
What should you look for in an e-waste recycler and data destruction service?
Every industry has standards, and information destruction is no exception. The National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) is the international trade organization for companies providing NAID certification destruction services. NAID’s mission is to promote the standards and ethics of its member companies and provides certification of companies that meet certain stringent criteria. A NAID Certified company has standards for secure data destruction processes including operational security, employee hiring and screening, the destruction process, responsible disposal, and insurance. These companies are thoroughly screened and routinely audited.
Ideally, your data destruction professional will offer complete e-waste recycling service and will be in a position to direct you to the best possible solution that works for your company. If they do offer e-waste recycling makes sure they work only with companies that ethically handle your recycled electronics.
Keep in mind secure data destruction is ultimately your responsibility any time used computer equipment leaves your premises.
You can significantly mitigate your liability in data breaches by outsourcing a qualified data destruction service. NAID certified companies must know the latest information destruction industry standards and are required to carry their own liability insurance in the unfortunate event of a data breach. Evaluate your resources, risks and liabilities, and then make your decision on the best way to safely and ethically dispose of your used computer equipment.