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Why You Need to Be Careful when Discarding Technology

Why You Need to Be Careful when Discarding Technology

Nothing lasts forever - especially your business’ technology. However, you shouldn’t just get rid of your old technology willy-nilly. This is mostly for two reasons: one, many of the components in our technology are really bad for the environment; two, carelessly disposing of technology is a great way to put your data at risk. In order to protect your data, you need to make sure that your old equipment is properly disposed of.

The Two-Pronged Risk of Improper Disposal
Like we said, there are two major issues to cutting corners when ridding your business of its old tech. First, there’s the potential environmental impact that could be incurred.

In order to work the way, we want them to, many devices (especially mobile ones) rely on parts and components that can potentially cause some significant damage to the environment. In addition to the materials that simply aren’t biodegradable, most devices contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium - not to mention their lithium batteries. These materials have a tendency to gradually seep into their surrounding environment, effectively poisoning the land and the water around them. This ultimately loops back around to human beings and has been shown to cause toxic buildup in our systems, leading to serious health issues like cancer.

In addition to these risks, there is also the risk that any data left on an improperly disposed-of device could be stolen and leveraged by a dumpster-diving cybercriminal. Depending on what information the device held, this could very easily contribute to some serious issues on the part of the business. Whether it is your own business’ sensitive data or that of your clients, it needs to be properly removed before the device in question leaves your oversight.

Ideas for Tech Disposal and Repurposing
There are a few options you have for getting rid of your older technology, each with its own benefits.

  • Find a reputable recycler. Find a recycler who you trust to properly dispose of your technology after completely destroying any data. There are many vendors who can help you to accomplish this.
  • Donate your old technology. If there isn’t anything wrong with your old tech, and you just need to upgrade to support improved solutions, you could consider donating your old devices to a local school or other similar outlet. Of course, you should make sure that all data has been appropriately removed before handing them over.
  • Double-check that you can’t still use it. There is a chance that an upgrade or two would enable you to continue utilizing a particular piece of hardware. If not, perhaps there is somewhere else in your organization that it can still be leveraged. Is there anyone else using an older machine in your organization that wouldn’t mind getting a hand-me-down? If a device can still support another staff member’s use, you might as well pass it to them and reduce the amount of waste you produce.

If you need assistance changing over to new devices and being rid of the old, reach out to Symmetric Engineering Group. We can ensure that you have the solutions you need for success, without putting your security in jeopardy. Reach out to us at (813) 749-0895 to learn more.

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