Secure Computing

Secure removal of data or disposal of computing devices


Normal "erasing" of files does not remove data from a storage device, it just tells the computer that the old data sectors are now available to be overwritten. The old data remains in place, and is thus a major security risk for data breaches and identity theft. Always use a formal data removal process approved by Information Security to securely delete 3-Lock data before disposing of an old computer, smartphone or other mobile data storage device such as thumb drives. Your local support provider can help you find the best process for your needs.

Read the Yale policy guidelines in place for:

Secure data removal

Please visit the Data Security subsection of the How-To's for specific recommendations.


Computers and peripherals may be of such age or condition that they cannot be used for their intended purposes. These computers and peripherals should be recycled. All electronic materials to be recycled should be referred to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Fill out the Universal Waste/Used Electronics Form available from the Office of Environmental Health & Safety website. Call the Yale Environmental Affairs Waste Request Line at 203-785-3551 for further information.

DO NOT just leave unwanted equipment in the hall, under a desk or in a closet.  Complete the Universal Waste/Used Electronics Form for equipment pick up. 

If applicable, please make sure equipment has been removed from the department inventory list.