When I visit clients I sometimes come across a room full of dinosaurs.
Not actual prehistoric animals, of course, but I do find plenty of defunct computers and electronic hardware. Sometimes, companies hang on to this equipment for spare parts, cannibalizing them to keep other computer systems running. But, I also see people holding on to “e-junk” because they just don’t know how to safely dispose of it.
Not for the Landfill
Unloading old computers can be tricky. You don’t want to just toss them into the trash. Toxic materials can leach into landfills, and any sensitive information on cast-off computers can be picked up by dumpster divers or trash pickers. Then it could be one step away from falling into the hands of cyber criminals.
The best option is to recycle. But how?
Computer Recycling in Cincinnati
Your first task is to identify a recycling vendor or IT service provider who will sanitize any stored memory and (this is important) provide you with certificates of sanitization. That way, if you discover that data has been collected from discarded drives, the vendor is liable for damages.
Vendors we trust and work with for computer recycling in Cincinnati include:
You can also watch for e-cycling events held throughout Cincinnati communities during the year. Local governments set up collection days with authorized vendors who agree to haul away waste. It’s typically a free service for residents. Check your local city websites for upcoming events.
The added bonus with CCC: It’s a nonprofit organization that sorts and recycles equipment, but also refurbishes computers and sells them at minimal cost to underserved communities.
Alert: Other Technologies May Hold Proprietary Info, Too
As you upgrade systems in your office and purge the old, be careful: It’s not just computers that you need to be wary about dumping.
Advanced phone systems, drives or multi-function printers… anything that can be connected to a network can store information. For example, some printers may store information from prints, faxes and more, which can be rich information for any cyber criminal to mine. These items all should be wiped clean by a professional as well.
"14 Non-Technical Things You Can Do Today to Protect Your Business from Cyber Crime"
Here's what you'll learn:
- Why your employees are your weakest link and what to do about it
- Easy ideas for keeping passwords secure
- How to tell if your cyber insurance policy is worthless