Disposing of specific electronic media

Non-removable media (such as hard drives in desktop, laptop computers, and servers)

Units which manage computers, such as IST and faculty computing units, are responsible for ensuring that data on computing equipment is erased before re purpose or shipment to Central Stores for surplus or recycling. Individuals with non-managed computers may follow the procedures below or send the computer directly to Central Stores. IST is responsible for ensuring that all data has been removed from any computers designated for sale as surplus. Computer equipment designated for disposal will be destroyed at a government-certified secure e-waste facility.

To ensure data on a hard drive is not recoverable, the recommended practice for PCs is to wipe the disk using a software product that is compliant with the DoD5220.22-M standard. A university recommended data wipe utility and instructions for use may be obtained from the IST Service Desk, East Campus 2 (EC2). Macintosh computers can be cleaned natively with the operating system by booting from an OS10.3 or newer CD/DVD and launching Disk Utility.

Please affix a "This Hard Drive has been securely wiped..." sticker (available from the IST Service desk) to wiped computers before sending to Central Stores for surplus or recycling.

For assistance with data wiping procedures for any computers please contact Peter Schepers, IST Desktop Support Specialist.

Removable media (such as floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, and flash drives)

Removable electronic media should be physically destroyed by scratching, cutting, or breaking to render them unusable. Removable electronic media may be sent to Central Stores for destruction. These items must be packed separately from paper and labelled accordingly.

Note: because they are very small and easy to lose, it is recommended that flash drives (a.k.a. USB keys or memory sticks) not be used to store personal or other sensitive confidential information.

Mobile devices

Individuals with a university-owned mobile device are responsible for erasing all data before the unit is sent for surplus or recycling.

Personally owned electronic media

All university employees are responsible for ensuring that university data is kept securely and erased from personally owned electronic media once operational use of the data has ceased.