When disposing of IT equipment, people often overlook the need to erase personal data from the devices. If devices go on to be refurbished and resold, personal data could fall into anyone’s hands. This could have devastating consequences. In this blog, we will discuss why it is important to fully erase data from electronic goods.
On 3rd November, BBC released a news article titled “Warning after 75,000 ‘deleted’ files found on used USB drives”. Abertay University conducted an investigation and bought 100 drives from the internet. They found that the drives contained 75,000 files containing information including passwords, and images with embedded location data.
The researchers stated that all but two of the drives looked like they had been wiped. However, it was “worryingly easy” to access data from these, using publicly available tools. Many of the files contained highly sensitive data. Only 32 of the 100 drives had been wiped fully. Professor Karen Renaud, from Abertay’s cybersecurity division said, “An unscrupulous buyer could feasibly use recovered files to access seller’s accounts if the passwords are still valid, or even try the passwords on the person’s other accounts given that password re-use is so widespread.” She believes that some sellers would be unaware that they had left data on the drives. They would dispose of the devices believing that they had deleted all the information permanently.
This news story highlights the importance of fully wiping data from any electronic devices before disposing of them. It is easy to think that you can remove data yourself, but there is a difference between simply deleting data, and fully erasing it. Deleting data results in space being freed up on the drive but the data is not overwritten. On the other hand, data erasure is the process of removing data permanently and irreversibly.
This is important when it comes to refurbishing electronics. Refurbishing is great for the environment, as it reduces the need for new devices to be manufactured. However, if data is not fully wiped from drives, personal and important information could end up in the wrong hands.
Therefore, it is important for companies refurbishing IT equipment to fully erase all data from drives. At Servers and Spares, as well as supplying a whole range of refurbished IT products, our expertise extends to the complex area of data erasure. As specialists in the area, we use Certus software to fully destroy all data on devices that we refurbish. This means that when they are resold, there is no data left on the devices at all. This gives our customers complete peace of mind that the product they buy is clean and as good as new.
If you require IT equipment and want to buy refurbished rather than brand-new, you will save money and help the environment. Servers and Spares, fully treat each device before reselling them, so our customers don't have to worry.
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