It’s an indisputable fact that the amount of electronic equipment we use is increasing by the year, so it’s not surprising that the amount ending up in landfills is going up too. After all, with computers, mobile phones and other IT equipment becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity, we’re always looking for the latest equipment and discarding our older items.
However, it’s important to remember that IT equipment should not simply be thrown away in the same way that old clothes, furniture or other household items might be. IT goods are made to be used repeatedly by individuals and businesses, and each time they’re used, they ‘learn’ more about their users. They’re intuitive and designed to be user friendly, but this also means they’re a hive of data for anyone who might get their hands on them. This is before we consider the amount of hazardous chemicals and compartments in IT goods, as well as some materials that can take millennia to decompose, making irresponsible IT asset disposal a bad idea on two levels.
Here are two very different reasons why responsible IT asset disposal is so important, backed up by statistics you should bear in mind before you consider simply taking an old computer or other IT item to your local rubbish tip.
1. One in nine discarded hard drives contains corporate data
Most companies are aware that their IT assets should be wiped clean of data before disposal, but not all of them do this thoroughly.
In a recent study by Blancco Technology group, it was found that corporate data was present on 11% of drives being sold on online auction sites, leaving the possibility of company emails, spreadsheets and CRMs falling into the wrong hands.
Throwing data-holding appliances into waste collection centres is no less dangerous. There are cybercriminals who will think nothing of rummaging through dustbins and skips to get their hands on potentially valuable data. Using responsible IT asset disposal services, you can make sure all data is completely removed from any appliances you no longer need.
2. Nearly 50 million tonnes of e-waste will be created this year
As if the security risks of improper IT asset disposal were not serious enough, there is the added concern of the growing rise in e-waste and what it’s doing to the planet.
With the UN predicting the world will create 48.2 million metric tonnes of electronic waste in 2017, this is more than 3.5 million times heavier than Big Ben. Studies have shown that e-waste has a detrimental effect on the elements we need to live, whether it’s the fumes and air pollution created by burning them, the chemicals like lead and mercury they release into our waters, or the toxic, non-biodegradable substances they release into our soil.
By using IT asset disposal services, you’re being a responsible company in more ways than one. You’re safeguarding valuable data, while at the same time doing the environment a favour too.