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Why data wiping refurbished devices is better than deleting files

What that means, and why it should matter to your school.

refurbished devices

In most circumstances, buying refurbished devices for your school can be the best decision you can make. But if you choose a less than reputable company to source and supply IT, you may not know if they have wiped all files. And, if they haven’t, you will be unaware of what might be hidden inside those devices.

This article explains why it’s important, the difference between wiping and deleting files and why due diligence is essential.

Why does it matter for a school?

If you’ve taken the increasingly popular option to purchase refurbished devices or remanufactured IT for your school, you should consider what may be accessible on those devices. Especially for inquisitive, tech-savvy teens who may consider it a challenge to access deleted data!

If your devices have been sourced from a less reputable IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) company, it’s possible the data has merely been deleted, not wiped. Therefore the above scenarios are possible.

Should you delete or wipe data?

You may be wondering if you can delete data from devices yourself, negating the need for a specialist data wiping service.

Contrary to popular belief, deleting files does not remove data from your drive. The lost data can be recovered using a data recovery tool. That could be considered a blessing if you’ve inadvertently deleted files! However, it also means the data can be retrieved – if you know how.

Therefore you must consider using expert help in this matter. To make choosing easier, look for companies accredited by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

What data can be accessed?

If your recently purchased refurbished devices once belonged to a business that collected confidential information from customers: phone number, national insurance number, address, credit card details, etc., it is their responsibility to comply with the data protection laws and other regulatory compliances. They must delete confidential data from systems. If they haven’t, and the ITAD company they sell their old devices to doesn’t either, then your pupils could access or be exposed to all kinds of inappropriate data.

This advice is not intended to worry you! Only to convince you that you should perform due diligence and ask for guarantees that the devices your school has purchased have been data wiped. Note: if they have been cleaned, the files are deleted only and therefore retrievable.

Data wiping is safer for the environment

As a bonus: rather than the old method of physically destroying old storage devices to ensure the data is eradicated, advances in technology mean data can be securely wiped using file erasure software.

This method is infinitely more eco-friendly. The storage devices/hard drives can be reused and not sent to landfills: preventing the resulting toxic chemical release by e-waste from entering the soil and damaging the environment.

Wiping the data from devices is the only guaranteed way to secure sensitive data

The way we use IT today means both work and personal devices contain more data than ever before. This data must be removed if they are to be re-issued to another user – especially children. However, deleting files is not enough to prevent this often sensitive data from being recovered.

Ultimately, the responsibility of wiping all sensitive materials from devices before selling or donating them lies with that business. But this doesn’t always happen.

Reconome insists on using Certus Software to wipe PCs, laptops, and external hard disks. It is one of only three accredited by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and is designed to keep your pupils safe. When buying refurbished or remanufactured IT, we recommend that you enlist an ITAD company that puts data security high on their list of priorities and is certified by the NCSC and the Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance (ADISA).

You might also be interested in:

  • Entering our monthly desktop bundle draw where you can win 5x desktop bundles for your school every month.
  • Watching and reading testimonials from the forward thinking schools, charities and SMEs who buy sustainable IT from us, and the reasons why so many people are refusing to accept the high prices and long waits for new IT equipment.
  • The difference between refurbished, remanufactured and recycled – plus the guarantee of quality that comes with a Reconome refurbished product