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Data Dangers: Recycling Technology is Crucial for Businesses

Published on 15 October 2013
Our lives are governed by technology. From our work PCs to our laptops, smartphones to tablets, the majority of us would find even a day without these gadgets almost impossible. For businesses, technology is a necessity, and efficient, fast systems are what keep most companies running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. But what happens when things start to slow, and the technology gets old? Well, we simply update it, of course.
That’s the reason that businesses and households all over the UK have an abundance of old laptops, PCs, mobile phones and tablets stored away. We know we can recycle them, but most people simply don’t make the effort.
When it comes to businesses though, failing to recycle and get rid of old technology could be incredibly dangerous. Having customer and client data stored on disused computers in offices is risky, both for the business and their clientele. What happens if the premises are broken into, and these old computers are stolen and their hard drives are sold on? Well, for a business, this could mean a £70,000 fine; for its customers and clients, it could mean they become victims of identity theft and fraud.
Data protection is a serious issue for businesses, which is why recycling old computers and technological devices is so important if companies want to avoid being fined hefty amounts by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The hard drives of these devices not only need to be recycled, but they need to be passed on to a specialist company that can destroy the data stored on them beforehand. The device as a whole can then be recycled, meaning you’re not only protecting your business’s customers, but you’re also projecting a positive image of your company through your efforts to reduce waste.
So, ask yourself, is your business storing disused computers, tablets or mobile phones that could potentially still contain the data of your customers or clients? If the answer is yes, or even maybe, then it’s time to take action. Considering a small Wembley-based business was recently fined £5000 – as much as it could afford – for an accidental breach of the Data Protection Act after a hard drive was stolen, no business is safe, no matter how small or large it may be.
Stolen data could destroy your business. If the hefty fine from the ICO doesn’t, then the loss of your brand’s reputation certainly will, so it’s really not worth taking the risk.

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