Last year, schools around the United States underwent over 122 known data security attacks (Source). This caused schools to lose millions of dollars along with trying to recover a large number of stolen student identities.
Data security is now more important than ever, yet it is often a neglected part of device recycling and remarketing. The information stored on any computer is both private and sensitive, and devices today typically contain more sensitive data than all of the paper you print in a year.
When devices have come to the end of their lifecycle, it is essential that the recycling partner you choose is an expert in data destruction. This can save schools millions, and also protect student identities from being shared. Here are the steps that need to be taken in order to ensure a proper data wipe.
Chromebooks, iPads, Tablets & Smartphones
A factory reset that removes the encryption keys is performed, and a new version of the operating system is installed to fully remove the data. This process restores the device’s original settings and completely removes all data from the device itself.
MacBooks, Windows, Laptops, Tablets & SSD’s
In order to accurately wipe these devices, it’s essential to perform a 3 pass data wipe that meets DOD 5220 standards and eliminates the possibility of data recovery. We then install a new version of the operating system when applicable.
R2 Certified Protection
An R2 certified company has the capacity and knowledge to sanitize data, and properly manage focus materials in a manner that protects the safety, public health and environment. The R2 standard is the leading global certification standard for the electronic recycling industry, ensuring companies are equipped and trained to handle sensitive data through extensive audits.
In order to have full confidence that a device has been wiped in the hands of trained professionals and experts, it is best to partner with an R2 Certified company. An R2 certified company ensures that the partner keeps the following on record of the wipe:
Time and date of data sanitization
Description of the media technology
Identity of the individual executing the procedure
Identity of the device vendor
Signed and dated documentation by a trained professional
This certification can give schools the peace of mind and reassurance that their data will not be tampered with, and their students identity is fully secure.
If your district isn’t currently partnered with a certified company, now may be the time to bring the topic to the forefront of your next meeting.