Computer donations could be disastrous

Careless donations are risky, as redundant laptops, PCs, mobile phones and printers could contain sensitive corporate data, says Lee Bowes, director at PartServe.

Johannesburg, 26 Jan 2018
Read time 2min 20sec
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Although most corporates have good intentions when donating computers to underprivileged communities, charities and non-profits, their good deeds could be disastrous.

Computer equipment often contains confidential information that must be protected at all times. This includes sensitive information such as identity numbers, account numbers and credit card numbers related to staff, customers and business partners.

PartServe director Lee Bowes says careless donations are risky as redundant laptops, PCs, mobile phones and printers could contain sensitive corporate data. "Business owners are responsible to ensure that data is secure and that all personal information is protected; they need to protect themselves from the consequences of a data breach."

All data needs to be properly destroyed; simply deleting files or reformatting a computer's hard drive does not prevent data from being recovered. Also, a factory reset on a cellphone or tablet does not remove all the data. More importantly, copiers and printers also contain data on hard drives, and unless the data is properly deleted, it remains at risk.

The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act ensures all South African businesses conduct themselves in a responsible manner when collecting, processing, storing and sharing another entity's personal information by holding them accountable should they abuse or compromise the third party's personal information in any way.

PartServe is recognised by the corporate community as a reliable asset disposal company. With nearly 20 years of experience in dealing with IT asset disposals, PartServe has all the necessary tools and expertise to make sure data is properly removed from any device.

"PartServe has full serial number and asset tag tracking. All machines that are data wiped undergo triple data overwriting - for the destruction of any remains of sensitive data. Once this is done, a certificate is generated per serial number confirming data destruction," he explains.

Only once all data has been wiped completely, will PartServe commence with the refurbishment and recycling of second hand computer and printing equipment. All products that are recoverable are paid for and all products that are not recoverable are scrapped according to ISO14000 standard.

Any hard drive found to be faulty is first shredded at PartServe prior to being sent for recycling.

"With PartServe doing your IT asset disposals, you can rest assured your confidential information and data remains confidential," he concludes.

For more information or to have old IT equipment collected, visit or contact PartServe on (011) 201-7777 or e-mail

PartServe Channel Support (

PartServe Channel Support is a South African company focused exclusively on the southern African IT services channel, offering computer and spare part distribution for a number of companies, centralised warranty services, remanufacturing services and outsourced repair capabilities.

Editorial contacts
PartServe Lee Bowes (011) 201 7777