What Is Left On Your Hard Drive?
Asset disposition is an unavoidable step in the IT lifecycle. As IT equipment becomes obsolete or loses its value over time, you need to make room for new, updated hardware. Getting rid of your computers and hard drives is easy but ensuring that the data stored on the devices is gone may not be so simple.
In the work environment, staff will store all kinds of information on their computers. This leaves hard drives to be an endless supply of information about your company and your staff. This will of course, attract data thieves. Many organizations have fallen victim to data breaches, some have been made famous examples so don’t let it happen to your organization.
Next time your organization is getting rid of old equipment, think about the most common data that is stored on hard drives:
Office & Personal Emails
- Most email platforms will automatically save your emails onto your hard drive. This allows users to have quick and easy off-line access. As most staff communication is done through email, it makes it a great source of information for anyone looking to harm your company or make a profit from it.
Usernames & Passwords
- For all your online accounts, it is far safer to have a different password for each one. But memorizing all the passwords can be tricky. Therefore, people tend to save them on a file on the hard drive or even in an email.
Credit Card Numbers
- If your employees make online transactions, they will often use a company credit card. Even though they most likely won’t save the card details to the hard drive, the search engine often saves the information. Every time an employee makes an online payment using a credit card, the card number, including the last 3 digits may be saved in a hidden folder on the hard drive.
Social Security Numbers
- Your computers may contain databases of client and employee information including social security numbers.
Confidential Office Documents
- People tend to save all sorts of documents on their computers and a lot of them contain office secrets or confidential information. They can be in the form of e-mails, pdf, photos or typed documents.
- When surfing the web, search engines keep a log of all the websites that have been visited within a file on the hard drive. This is called a web trail and it gives valuable information about habits to those who are looking for it.
While your equipment is still in use, make sure to have a strong security system in place. And when it is time to replace your old equipment, be sure to partner with a certified and reputable ITAD & data destruction company.
At Wisetek, data security is a primary concern and our range of services on offer can help you on your journey to full compliance.
To find out more how Wisetek services can assist with your organization’s ITAD and data protection, contact us today on +353 21 455 6920 or alternatively via https://wisetek.net/contact/.