HoW To Protect Your SEnsitive Data

Data is under attack. We saw this last year with over 122 known data security leaks in United States schools alone, causing them to lose millions of dollars along with trying to recover a large number of stolen student identities. Overall, Cyberattacks on devices have surged 300% in 2019, and affects millions of companies both large and small. 

Data security is now more important than ever, yet it is often a neglected part of device recycling and re-marketing. 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 millions, and protect personal identities from being stolen, sold, or shared. Luckily, there are measures that can be taken to safely retire devices. There are two major buckets of data-wiping procedures. Below we listed the steps for both that need to be taken in order to ensure a proper data wipe from the most common mobile devices: Chromebooks, iPads, Tablets & Smartphones, Laptops, etc.  

Chromebooks, iPads, Tablets & Smartphones:

When wiping a mobile device, 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 with its 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. A new version of the operating system is then installed, when needed.

Next Step, Find An R2 Certified Buyer

An R2 certified company has the capacity and knowledge to sanitize digital data, and properly manage focus materials (toxic materials used in the manufacturing of computers) 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 a company that has an R2 certification. An R2 certified company must follow specific requirements and is periodically audited in order to keep their certification. One of the requirements of the certification is that they must keep the following on record of each individual data 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 R2 certification provides companies and 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. To find a list of R2 certified companies, visit the SERI website. Tech Defenders is proud to be of the companies listed as an R2 company. If you are interested in working with us, feel free to , OR contact us.