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Safely Disposing of Electronic Devices

October is cybersecurity month! As we’re wrapping up, we found it necessary to share some important information with you regarding your security. While we typically think of cybersecurity as watching out for phishing emails and not visiting shady sites, it’s also about what you do offline. One essential thing you can do is dispose of your electronic devices. 

Disposing of Devices: What is it? Why is it important?

Now, if you’re not sure what this means, that’s okay- that is what we are here for. Disposing of your devices means you permanently erase the data from them so you can protect your sensitive information. This is especially crucial for businesses to make sure their information is not being obtained by attackers or competitors.

There is always a chance that you disclose sensitive information when you dispose of, donate, or recycle a device. This increases the risk of your information being exploited by cyber criminals. Some of these electronic devices include:

  • Computers
  • Smartphones/Tablets
  • Digital cameras, media players, and gaming consoles
  • Office equipment

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Effective Methods

There are many methods that can be used to permanently erase data from your devices- it’s known as sanitizing. Because different devices require different methods of sanitization, it’s important to use the method that applies to that specific device. Prior to sanitizing your device, you should consider backing up your data. Some of the sanitation methods include:


When you delete files from your device, data still remains on the media, even though it appears to have been removed.  So, you cannot solely rely on simply moving files to the trash or selecting “delete” from your options list. Even if you empty your trash, the files can still be retrieved, which is why permanent data deletion requires a few steps. 

  • To sanitize computers, you should use a disk cleaning software. These are designed to permanently remove stored data to prevent the possibility of recovery.
  • The recommended method for smartphones and tablets is to do a hard reset and permanently remove any memory cards. 
  •  For office equipment, it is recommended that you remove any memory cards and perform a factory reset.


Another method of sanitization is to delete sensitive information and write new data over it. This can be done using built-in tools on your devices, although it isn’t the easiest option. If this is your preferred method, we’d recommend you speak with your IT provider, or contact us.

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Physically destroying your device is the ultimate way to stop anyone from retrieving your information. There are specialized services that are designed to completely destroy your the media. This method typically takes place at an outsourced incineration facility. You also have the option to destroy your hardware by yourself by driving nails or drilling holes into your device. To avoid reconstruction, the remaining pieces must be at least 1/125 inch.  


As always, feel free to Contact Corporate Technologies with any questions about your business’ security and how we can help!



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“When it comes to consulting and taking the stress of something we need and use everyday, hands down Corporate Technologies is the leader and walks you through the process and speaks in a language you can understand†Cory Elliott



See more tips about staying safe at: https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/tips

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