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Replacing IT equipment? Be careful what you throw out

10 Jul 2018

Your old hardware could give away your secrets - even if it's broken

Old computer hardware in a bin

All staff and researchers are responsible for ensuring that the University’s information is kept secure, regardless of the format it is held, and we can help you do that with your old computer equipment.

Throwing an old hard drive or computer in the bin or leaving it a loading bay, risks exposing confidential information and/or personal data to someone with malicious intentions. It’s usually possible to recover deleted files, and often possible to retrieve information from a faulty hard drive.

The consequences of this can be catastrophic; under GDPR the University could be fined £18 million or up to 4% of its turnover for a serious breach of data protection law. There’s also the possibility of confidential research data being exposed, and personal or reputational damage.

Don’t risk it.

If you have any old laptops, computer hard drives, USB drives, DVDs or even dusty old floppy disks to dispose of, bring them to B29 Pariser Building or the Kilburn Building IT Support Centre, where we will securely delete the data and process appropriately.

We’ll even take old keyboards, mice and other small peripherals, but please speak to a colleague in the IT Support Centre first if you need to dispose of larger items such as desktop PCs, monitors or printers, as we may need to collect these from you.

Find out more:

Note for staff and researchers in labs: If your IT equipment is currently in a lab which requires decontamination before disposal, please ensure this takes place before you remove it.