We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

UK big business fails to destroy old data

Survey exposes lax attitude to PC disposal

UK businesses are failing to remove sensitive data from old PCs. The contents of such systems remain available to whoever buys them second hand, according to a survey released today by Pointsec Mobile Technologies.

A large proportion of such PCs are shipped to third-world countries where the information can be used in ID theft scams.

The survey questioned 329 companies, more than half of whom employ more than 2,000 staff. Fewer than half of the respondents use professional disposal companies to destroy their old computers.

The remaining respondents chose to sell old PCs to second-hand computer resellers, or pass them on to staff. In both cases the next recipient has access to all the old data.

Seventeen percent of the businesses surveyed destroy data in-house - arguably the safest approach. This way companies can guarantee that the right procedure has been followed to adequately destroy the data.

Pointsec's managing director Martin Allen said "We recommend thoroughly reformatting the hard-drive or encrypting the data on all mobile devices. This ensures that no-one can get at the data unless they know the computers password both during the PC’s lifetime and beyond.”

He added that the only way to 100 percent guarantee your data's safety is the destroy your old PC's hard disk.


IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison: Lollipop phablet takes on KitKat flagship smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Free rocket & space sounds: NASA launches archive of interstellar audio on SoundCloud

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests, beautiful...