Disposing of Obsolete Equipment

This topic deals with the issues that should be addressed when disposing of your computer equipment, either for use by others, or for scrap / re-cycle.

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  • Legacy data from old systems can still remain accessible and thus compromise the confidentiality of information.

  • Having confirmed that the data may be destroyed, delete all the data from the system.
  • Be aware that a 'delete' instruction may not destroy the data but merely remove the index to it. Consider using a specialist software utility to ensure deletion.
  • Consider removing and physically destroying the storage media.

  • Inadequate planning for the disposal and upgrade of entire systems can threaten business continuity and result in severe loss.

  • Disposal of old equipment needs careful planning, especially where such equipment is still in current use (e.g. an old but still functional '486' computer).

  • Equipment used periodically but infrequently may be disposed of accidentally.

  • Clearly identify any equipment for disposal.
  • Make sure that it does not have a periodic, if infrequent, use e.g. for accessing archive records on old data files.

  • Breaches of health and safety requirements threaten the well-being of your staff and render you liable to prosecution.

  • If equipment is being scrapped, ensure that disposal is safe and complies with legislation.

  • The disposal of old equipment can prevent the restoration of its associated data files on which you may be relying.

  • Always ensure that backup or archive data from the old system can be restored and read by the current system.

  • During the legitimate disposal of unwanted equipment other items can be 'lost' or stolen.

  • Clearly define the equipment for disposal and closely control the removal of the equipment from your premises.

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