F1 partners with many socially conscious organizations, many of which make the choice to donate their old equipment rather than throw away or recycle it. We have had questions from some of our clients who want to donate laptops or computers to local charities, schools, churches or family members and friends. On the surface this seems like a wonderful idea that benefits everyone but we encourage all of our clients to donate equipment safely and with an eye towards data security. A common misconception is that once a file is deleted from a hard drive, or if a computer has been re-formatted, the data is no longer accessible. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Almost, if not ALL, of the deleted information can be retrieved quickly and easily, even if a computer hard drive has been formatted, and that data could be used to access other sensitive information, bank accounts, client files, etc.
We were tasked recently by a local TV station to go out and purchase some hard drives from Craigslist and see just what we could find. We were able to uncover some shocking information on almost all of these drives that were “wiped” by their previous owners, and you don’t need to be an Enterprise Class IT company to do it! Feel free to watch the news report here:
WHNT.com - A Taking Action Investigation: Is your data really wiped off your phone or old computer? See what we found when we bought 2 used laptops
Donating old or un-used equipment is still a good idea, as long as you keep Data Security in mind.
Here is what we recommend…
- Securely destroy your used hard drive and buy a new one to replace it prior to donating (laptops, workstations, thumb drives, external drives.)
- Have F1 securely wipe your hard drive to Department of Defense (DOD) standards. Then gift it.
- Just make a nice donation to the charity you would like to help
If you have tax records, social security numbers, photos, account information, loan documents, or work documents, just to name a few, you need to make sure this information is protected. No one wants an act of charity to turn into a headache down the road!
Contact us today for further information