Recycling Cybersecurity

  • Published: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020

Recycling is good for the environment. These days almost everything can be recycled. Plastic, paper, metal, glass and electronics. Electronic waste, commonly referred to as e-waste, can take on many risks. Aside from the environmental impact of the hazardous materials included in the build of electronics, there is also the danger of leaving behind potentially sensitive and personal information. 

Before disposing of hard drives, computers and other data storage devices, make sure to take the proper steps to ensure that the data is not retrievable. Total destruction of the storage device is the only solution. Use a recycler that is certified in e-waste and can provide you with a certificate for validation of destruction. If you will be repurposing, selling or reusing the device, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Back up your files
  • Deauthorize your computer with any cloud computing system such as iTunes, Microsoft 365 and business-critical applications
  • Wipe your hard drive. Just deleting files will not remove all traces of the data. Use software designed to eliminate everything from your hard drive. 
  • Reinstall the operating system using factory defaults

Make sure that all traces and associations with you and your personal data are gone. There should not be any browser history, no pictures or data and no additional software that is not included in the factory install.  

Passwords are an intangible part of cybersecurity that should never be reused. Every password should be unique and hard to guess. Follow best practices when choosing and using passwords.

Resources:
Password Do's and Don'ts
Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN)
Eraser