Keep Your Information Secure: How to Dispose of Old Computers
Has the time come for your computers to retire?
Unfortunately for computers, retirement doesn’t mean starting a new life without work. It means being thrown away as e-waste.
While getting rid of your old computer likely means you’re ready to acquire a newer, more efficient machine, there are a couple of risks you’ll be incurring. Besides environmental concerns, you could throw away valuable personal and business data, which might end up in the wrong hands.
In this article, we’re telling you how to dispose of old computers while keeping your information secure.
Backup Your Data
Your old computer hosts a lot of information about you, from account passwords to intimate files such as photographs and messages.
If you use your computer for business, there’s a good chance you have stored trade information in it as well. These could include business contracts, proprietary product info, and whatnot.
Before getting rid of your old computer, find a way to store any useful information you might need later on. In other words, you should backup your data.
There a couple of data backup methods you can use. You can transfer the information to an external storage device, typically a flash drive or hard disk.
There’s also cloud storage. With this method, you won’t worry about physical storage devices that you might misplace or get lost and end up in the wrong hands.
There are several reputable cloud storage service providers, all of which will give you substantial storage free of charge. If your data exceeds that free storage limit, you’ll have to pay a small charge for additional storage.
Deregister Your Accounts from the Computer
If you’re anything like most people, you’ve got several accounts registered to your old device. This way, the account service automatically detects your computer, enabling you to log in without entering a password.
Be sure to deregister such accounts the computer before discarding it. If you don’t, someone might find the computer and access your accounts with ease. And even if nobody ever uses it again, you might have trouble logging in to those accounts from a new, unrecognized device.
Erase Everything from the Computer’s Hard Drive
Backing up data creates a copy of the data on your computer. It doesn’t transfer then delete the data from your device unless you choose that option.
Even if you opt for the delete option, it’s possible that some bits of data could remain. There are also programs or applications that store personal data without your knowledge.
Erasing everything returns the computer to its original state—at least as far as data storage is concerned. Here’s a guide on how to erase hard drive and leave no traces of data behind.
Choose a Disposal Method
With your computer wiped clean, it’s time to dispose of it.
You have a number of options, but it’s advisable to choose the most environmentally friendly option. Instead of dumping it with your domestic waste, for instance, why not donate it to charity if it’s still in working order? Or you can dismantle it and sell valuable parts online.
Regardless of the method you choose, you’ll rest easy knowing your data is secure.
How to Dispose of Old Computers Made Easy
Computers aren’t designed to last forever, which means after several years, age will start taking a toll on yours. When that time comes, make use of this guide on how to dispose of old computers. Remember to prioritize data security and the environment.
Keep reading our blog for more tech tips and hacks.