Business Data Can be Found after a Factory Reset
Whether disposing of a computer or a mobile, you need to ensure safe computer disposal is done properly, taking into consideration your confidential business data and the environment. If you were to sell, scrap or donate the machine in question, you need to be sure that it has been completely wiped of any data. Even deleted data can be retrieved, so you need to ensure a specialist is dealing with this task, to also make sure you are not breaking any laws.
- Personal and business information could be viewed by unauthorised people, along with any stored or saved passwords to accounts such as online banking
- Your browsing history could still be visible
- Any old emails that have not been removed could still be found by the person who is now in possession of the device
- Any files that have not been deleted will be accessible, even delete files can be recovered with the right knowledge and technology
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Safe Computer Disposal
To be sure that your business data and accounts are safe, before getting rid of the device, copy all the data to the new computer or device and have a secure backup running. Then make sure you have fully erased the hard disks and completely removed everything from the device using a deletion program or service, or alternatively, destroying or rendering the device unusable. Don’t forget to remove any CDs, DVDs, memory cards and USBs. If you are also disposing or any of these storage devices, do so in the same way.
If you have any end of life devices that you cannot sell or donate, contact a proper disposal facility who can dismantle the device and recycle the parts correctly and responsibly. Established IT companies will be able to point you in the right direction if you are unsure where to start looking.
Smartphones and Tablets
Smartphones and Tablets should be disposed of in the same way. You should make sure you have synced all your data on to the computer and completed a backup. Then you can factory reset the device. If it is an Android device you will need to enable encryption prior to factory resetting the device. Apple, on the other hand already has encryption enabled by default and this is not a feature that can be disabled. To ensure all the data is deleted and nothing can be retrieved, use a reputable deletion app. This way, none of the data will be recoverable and no unauthorised people will be able to view your confidential information. This is especially important if it is a company device or if you had business data on your personal device.