The mishandling of a consumer’s personal data is serious, even if it was unintentional. This could easily happen such as in the case of data being hacked from an old computer that was improperly disposed of.
Have your old business computers been properly disposed of?
Many small business owners believe, perhaps based on old information, that they have properly disposed of their old computer equipment. But that’s not always the case.
Why Business Computer Recycling Is Important?
Aside from the obvious, such as privacy and sensitive information factors, there are other reasons that make business computer recycling important. All computer components are made with material that is harmful to the environment. Now think about how much electronic equipment is used around the world. It really is mind-blowing, isn’t it? So when you think about how much of that equipment we go through as a whole, now you can see the inevitable damage that’s being done to our environment if all that toxic waste is thrown into our landfills. Therefore, we all have to do our part in protecting our planet. And that begins with recycling all your old computers and electronic equipment.
OK, now that you have taken a moment to look at the BIG picture, let’s get into the do’s and don’ts for disposing of your small business computer equipment.
The Do’s and Don’ts for Disposing of Your Small Business Computers
Now that you’ve learned how important it is to recycle your business’s old computer equipment, consider taking a few minutes to go over the do’s and don’ts for disposing of small business computer equipment.
- Perform an external backup and save all the files you want to keep. This can be done by using a USB drive, an external hard drive, saving your files to a cloud storage service, or transferring them to a new computer.
- Overwrite or wipe the hard drive as many times as possible. Once isn’t enough; otherwise, the information might still be retrievable.
- Remove the hard drive and physically destroy it.
- Contact a professional data security and computer disposal company to perform the disposal tasks for you. This will help eliminate any company liability, as well as giving you the peace of mind that everything was done right.
- Always use a reputable or certified computer recycling company to dispose of your old computers and electronics.
- NEVER throw your old computer equipment in the trash!
- Avoid using recycling companies who aren’t reputable, or don’t have some sort of track record of stellar service.
- Don’t use a computer recycling company that isn’t a certified recycler.
- NEVER throw your old computer equipment in the trash! No, you are not seeing things. This is the same as the first don’t—but it’s important enough that it needs to be repeated!
The Benefits of Recycling Old Computer Equipment
There are plenty of benefits to recycling your old computer equipment. For example, recycling can lower your waste costs. Additionally, some non-profit organizations, government agencies, and even the EPA give grants to small businesses that have recycling programs in place. Then, of course, recycling your old business computer equipment will help reduce harmful waste that negatively impacts our environment. Additionally, recycling is a great way to show your business cares about the environment which could, in turn, result in a better brand image for your company.
What Does the Law Require?
If you use a business computer for consumer-related purposes, the law requires all such businesses to follow specific data security and disposal requirements for certain sensitive customer-related information. Yes—it’s the law!
The One Thing You MUST Do If You Want to Protect Yourself Against a Lawsuit
In real estate, the catchphrase is location, location, location. However, in business, the catchphrase is documentation, documentation, documentation, especially if you want to protect yourself against a lawsuit. And what better way to do that than to have systems in place, such as properly disposing of old computers, to protect your company’s sensitive data and your customers’ private information. Then having the documentation you need for compliance and liability reduction.
How to Properly Dispose of or Recycle Your Small Business Computer Equipment
The EPA encourages everyone to use electronic product recycling programs and they offer plenty of information on their website about recycling so you don’t have to wonder if you’re doing everything right. However, the very best way to dispose of or recycle your small business computer equipment is to use a professional recycling and data security service. There are many vital reasons for using a professional. A professional electronics recycling company will know exactly how to dispose of your old computer equipment which will significantly reduce your company’s liability. A professional will have on-site and off-site systems available to properly prep and package your equipment for electronics disposal or material recycling. They will know how to permanently wipe, erase and destroy the data, then be able to provide you with the documentation you need for compliance, as well as protection against a lawsuit.
If you would like more information about professional small business computer disposal or recycling, please Contact Us today. Stream Recycling is a certified IT recycling, computer disposal, and data security company with a long-standing reputation in the industry. We help small businesses recycle and/or properly dispose of old business computers while helping them remain legally compliant. We also provide them with the documentation they need to help avoid potential lawsuits.