Protecting your printer and the data that travels through it is a leading priority. While in use, you are proactive about keeping software up to date and changing passwords regularly. Now that it’s time to get a new printer do you know how to keep your files on the printer hard drive confidential? For companies operating in the public health industry or those taking care of personal financial records, privacy is a significant concern. Read on to learn how to protect your files when you recycle your old printer.

1. Always Install Encryption Software

Encryption is when you write over your files, so they are unreadable should a hacker get ahold of them. If you haven’t been using this software, previously it’s your best defense against malware and should be implemented in your systems immediately. If you’re recycling your printer, why do you need to encrypt your information now? You’ll want to encrypt it now in case you decide to move any of these files to the cloud or another hard drive. This ensures that they are uncompromised in the transfer.

2. Wipe the Hard Drive

The next step in recycling your printer is to make sure you wipe the hard drive completely. When you delete a file, the hard drive merely marks the record as deleted, but until you overwrite the disk, it still exists in some form. A disk-wiping tool will over-write everything on your drive and make it unreadable. Once you have overwritten your data, you can pass the printer on to a new owner.

3. Know Your Hard Drive’s Final Destination

If you are returning your printer to a copier dealer at the end of your lease, ask whether your hard drive will be destroyed or not. While not necessary for every situation, deconstructing the hard drive ensures no data will be leaked. If you are seriously worried about protecting data on the hard drive even after encryption and disk-wiping, you may be better off keeping the hard drive in your possession.

No matter what industry you work in, protecting the privacy of your clients is a significant concern. While you may be on top of security protocols when you use your printer in the office, don’t forget to take care of the files once you are ready to recycle your printer for a new one. To learn more about keeping data secure and other office equipment, call us today!