Stay secure when recycling printers

recycling printersWhen it comes to recycling printers, there’s plenty to consider, but it’s important to remember to keep your security in mind.

When using a PC, laptop or tablet, security is naturally at the forefront of your mind, particularly as these are devices that are used regularly to store important information.  However, while it may not seem obvious, there are other devices that can hold vital information and data, too – such as printers.

Certain models of printers will have flash memory or an internal hard drive that will store the various documents that you have scanned using the machine.  Depending on what you use your printer for, this could mean that plenty of private documents are still left on your device.  So, if someone was to know where to look, the likes of credit card statements, invoices, wage slips and other sensitive documents would be readily available.

So, why don’t people deal with this when it comes to recycling printers?  It is mainly down to the difficulty that comes with finding the hard drives in the printers.  When recycling printers, more often than not, the hard drive is left behind – which could spell trouble.

If you are recycling printers, make sure you delete any important data that could still be on the device – but, how do you do this?  Here are the options:

Unplug your printer – if you leave the device unplugged for a while, this will delete the data if there is no local storage.  For more information on how long to keep it unplugged, check your user guide.

Clear the direct e-mail function – if your model has this feature, delete the password before recycling printers.

Wipe the hard drive – if your printer has an internal hard drive, use the wipe disk to remove the stored data.

If you follow this advice when recycling printers, you can rest assured that nobody else will be able to acquire any of your personal documents or information.