On-Site Data Destruction vs. Off-Site Data Destruction

Hiring an e-waste recycler to handle the destruction of data on unwanted or obsolete IT assets is a smart business decision. Reliable e-waste recyclers don’t simply erase the data off of these devices—they destroy it. Once the data has been destroyed, it can no longer be recreated, which means businesses won’t have to worry about their sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.

E-waste recyclers usually offer clients the option of choosing between on-site and off-site data destruction. E-waste recyclers that offer on-site destruction visit the client’s location in a truck with equipment that can be used to destroy data and shred electronic devices. If a client chooses off-site destruction, the electronic devices are taken to an e-waste recycling facility for destruction. Which is right for your business? Here’s what you need to know before making this decision:

Client Can Watch Over On-Site Destruction

Clients are often hesitant to trust a third party vendor with the devices that contain their sensitive data, which is understandable given the number of data breaches in the news lately. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of passing off all of your old IT devices to a third party, on-site destruction may be the right choice for you.

With on-site destruction, the data is destroyed inside a van that is located on your property. Since the devices are not transported to a secure facility, clients are allowed to watch over the destruction process. This gives clients the rare opportunity to watch how data is destroyed and how careful the trained professionals are when handling the devices. Being able to watch this process should make clients feel more comfortable trusting the e-waste recycler to handle the data destruction on their own during the next visit.

However, it’s important to note that some e-waste recyclers, including ERI, allow clients to watch the data destruction process with off-site destruction as well. ERI offers a live video feed of the recycling process so clients can keep tabs on all of their devices. Although you won’t be there in person, watching the video of the destruction should be enough to reassure you that the sensitive data is safe.

Implied Risk of Data Breaches is Lower With On-Site Destruction

The risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands is greater with off-site destruction. Why? When a client chooses off-site destruction, the assets must be transported from the client’s location to the recycling facility. Even if the facility is right down the street, it is possible that a breach could occur along the way. For example, the vehicle could be involved in an accident and an asset going missing. It’s also possible that a small device such as a hard drive or smartphone could fall out of the vehicle or be stolen along the way. The further that the devices have to travel, the more likely it is that a breach could occur. Choosing on-site destruction could reduce this risk since the devices simply need to be brought outside into a van.

If you want to stick with off-site destruction, be sure to take your time choosing a reliable e-waste recycler so you don’t have to worry about data breaches. Look for an e-waste recycler that has NIST and NAID certification. These certifications are given to recyclers that have proven their facilities are secure.

Easier to Process Large Quantities Off-Site

How many IT assets will need to be recycled at once? It’s usually easier for e-waste recyclers to process large quantities of e-waste within their facilities as opposed to within a van at the client’s location. In fact, e-waste recyclers that offer on-site data destruction often set restrictions on how many devices can be processed at once. For example, some e-waste recyclers cap the number of hard drives that can be processed on-site at 2500.

If you would like to destroy data on a large number of devices, it may be best to choose off-site destruction. Once you know how many devices need to be processed, talk to your e-waste recycler to find out which method they would recommend based on your needs.

Off-Site Destruction May Be Less to Disruptive to Business Operations

Some clients choose off-site data destruction because they believe processing the devices at the e-waste recycler’s facility will be less disruptive to their business. Why? If you choose to destroy data on-site, a large van or truck will need to be parked at your business until the job is complete. Some clients may not want to draw attention to the fact that they are destroying data, so they do not want a data destruction truck parked in front of their business.

Clients with limited parking spaces may not want a large truck to take up one of the spots that could otherwise be occupied by an employee or customer. If parking is limited, the truck may need to park on the street or in front of the business, which could block the street or make it harder to access the area.

If you are worried about on-site data destruction disrupting your business, be sure to voice these concerns to your e-waste recycler. Your e-waste recycler should be able to provide solutions to these problems to ensure that your business is not affected by the on-site destruction. However, if you are still not comfortable with the idea, feel free to choose off-site destruction instead.

ERI, the leading e-waste recycler in the country, offers both on-site and off-site data destruction so clients can choose whichever method is right for their business. For more information on recycling your electronics and destroying sensitive data, or to request a quote for your company, contact us today.