A Guide to Securely Disposing of Your Printer

Oct 10, 2023

No business or medical facility would dispose of documents without ensuring the destruction of confidential information, but what you may not know is that your printer can also contain sensitive data.

Failing to securely dispose of your printer can result in data breaches or regulatory violations when information falls into the wrong hands.

Do I Have to Securely Dispose of My Printer?

Many people are surprised to learn that their printer may contain sensitive information about their business, customers, or even patients. That’s because many of today’s printers have a memory feature or even a small hard drive that stores data from past projects. As such, your printer should be handled with the same care you would devote to the files stored on your computer system.

Task the Right Person

Always remember to assign the right person to the task of printer disposal. If your printer contains sensitive business or medical information in its memory, you need to ensure that the disposal team follows proper protocols when handling data. Find a local electronics recycling company who can responsibliy handle the electronic waste for you. The right company will have the equipment and experience to dispose of even sensitive information without exposing you to risk.

Clearing the Memory

A good starting point might be to clear the memory of your printer. Some have a built-in function that lets you quickly erase the printer’s memory, but if yours does not, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or contact the manufacturer directly to learn how to erase the memory of your particular model. If you use a certified IT Asset Dispsosition (ITAD) vendor, they will be able to do this for you.

Destroy the Hard Drive

Some printers have an actual hard drive on which they store projects and documents. If yours is one of these printers, remove the hard drive from the printer and then destroy it. Some users may choose to smash the hard drive with a hand tool such as a hammer, but there are many risks to this type of method, from injuries to not fully getting the data destroyed. Contact a commercial shredding service that can ensure the complete and total destruction of your hard drive and its contents.

Dispose of Printer Components Responsibly

Organizations in North Dakota and South Dakota might take advantage of electronics recycling centers where they can dispose of printer components responsibly. Look for a certified ITAD partner who can guarentee data destruction and responsible recycling.

Need Help With Your Printer?

Clearly, there’s more to disposing of a printer than just tossing it in the dumpster. The most efficient way to dispose of your sensitive electronics is with a company like Secure Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM). If you operate a business in North Dakota or South Dakota, contact SEAM today to learn more about how we can help you protect your business and your clients.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.