Don’t Just Throw Away Your Printer

When a printer reaches the end of its life, the easy thing to do is just junk it. If you do this, you could be putting unprotected confidential data on the truck. A business-class printer generally has a hard disk drive or solid-state drive for queuing jobs. Huge quantities of reports, diagrams, and correspondence could be on it. Would you send an old computer to the scrap dealer without making sure no one could read its files? If not, you should give discarded printers just as much care.

Who will get your printer’s drive?

Old printers are often resold. Hardware scrap shops pull out drives and sell them “as is” at bargain prices. Your printer’s drive could end up in someone’s homebrew system. Worse, someone who buys drives to scavenge data might pick it up. Whether it’s the whole printer or the drive, any data left on it is now in someone else’s hands. If your business prints confidential documents, that’s a risk you can’t afford.

A printer’s drive holds files intended for people to read on paper. Getting useful information from them doesn’t require figuring out a database’s structure or making sense of binary files. Convenient, printable documents are there for the taking.

Reduce the data to shreds

Just “formatting” or “erasing” the drive with software won’t eliminate the data. It makes the file system appear empty, but the bits are still there. Overwriting the disk is better, but there are techniques for recovering shadowed data. The surest way to make a drive irrecoverable is to destroy it utterly.

This might bring to mind brute-force methods such as burning the drive or using a sledgehammer, but they carry dangers such as toxic fumes and injury. Phiston’s line of disk drive destruction equipment does the job safely and quickly. From desktop crushers to heavy-use machines, they serve a broad range of needs. All of them will reduce storage devices to tiny fragments.

Where serious data protection is needed, Phiston provides what it takes to make sure data from old drives won’t end up in the wrong hands. Talk with us to find the best data destruction solution for your organization.

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