Is your unused hardware collecting dust in the storage closet? Is there old software still languishing on your computer?

Ignoring these old IT assets may seem harmless enough, but that’s far from the truth. Every minute these assets are exposed is another opportunity for a hacker.

Luckily, you can clean up your assets without compromising your security.

Here are a few tips to get started.

Old Social Media Accounts

Do you have a dormant social media account?

You don’t have to be a celebrity to get attacked. Dormant accounts of defunct businesses are also vulnerable to hacking.

If you’re not using your account, you can always deactivate it. Deactivating an account removes the page, but it doesn’t remove the data.

If you don’t plan on returning to social media, download all your data and save it to a flash drive before permanently deleting your accounts.

Mobile IT Assets

Let’s take the social media example a step further:

Suppose you’re an IT manager for a corporation.

The social media managers use company-issued mobile devices to streamline campaigns. The team uses various apps to create, share, and edit content. They also analyze social media data and upload their findings.

These devices hold a lot of data, including sensitive information.

One of the social media managers recently left the company under tense circumstances. However, they continued to use their business device, sabotaging the company’s social media accounts.

How would you have prevented this situation?

For starters, the IT manager should have remotely shut off the device after the employee resigned. Furthermore, the manager should have wiped the device clean, leaving no sensitive data behind.

Create a mobile strategy that manages the life cycle of business-issued devices. Research asset recovery and recycling solutions that can dispose of technology and recover digital assets.

What to Do With Old Computers

Obsolete computers pile up quickly, but don’t leave them on the side of the road!

Those computers still contain sensitive information, even if they’re broken. Plenty of people can get an old computer working again. Worse yet, they can steal your information from old hard drives.

Remember to delete all your data before getting rid of a computer. If you have a Chromebook, powerwash the device before selling or donating it. Remove all your Google profiles from the device too.

Even scanners contain sensitive information, like passwords and contact information. WiFi-connected devices are convenient, but they’re not more secure. Change any passwords before getting rid of your internet routers and other wireless devices.

You don’t have to throw old electronics away. If you really want to prevent data theft, transform your old hardware into something new.

You could turn your old computer into a cool terrarium or transform that old scanner into a coffee table.

Protect Your Data

Don’t let forgotten IT assets compromise your data. Follow these tips for managing, deleting, and destroying old assets.

Remember, you can always turn that old smartphone into a cool paperweight!

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