People in data engineer jobs have been urged to properly delete all hard drive data stored in computers before recycling.
This is the message from Tony Neate, e-Crime Wales steering group member and managing director of Get Safe Online, who stressed that while disposing electronic waste safely is good for the environment, it can result in e-crime if certain processes are not carried out.
He suggested that if valuable private data is put in the wrong hands, a company could lose its reputation and be at a commercial disadvantage. Customer data could also be used by criminals to commit identity fraud.
"Companies need to establish and enforce acceptable use policies that require employees to return all equipment at the end of its life cycle and then further guidelines as to what happens next," he remarked.
"Drafting guidelines for acceptable ways to retire a machine, such as reselling it online, sending it back to the manufacturer or recycling it thorough hazardous waste programs is also recommended."
Since the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive was introduced in 2007, companies have been urged to dispose their electrical equipment cleanly. Charities like Computer Aid International is one option for businesses to reuse their unwanted IT equipment.
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