Do you have an outdated computer or other gadget that you need to get rid of? You first should take measures to secure any confidential data because your computer may hold very sensitive information, including:
- Login details for various websites or applications
- Bank account details and statements,
- Social security numbers
- Sensitive phone numbers
- Your health and medical records, etc.
Physically crushing your computer or hard disk is one way to secure your information, but it might not be the safest choice if you want to give it away or sell it. Furthermore, computers contain several substances that are toxic to humans, animals and the environment.
Below are a few steps you can take to safely dispose of your machine.
Make a Copy of Your Data
Consider what valuable details you would like to keep before you get rid of your outdated computer. If you need to preserve files, images, or essential documents, you will need sufficient space to store the information.
Delete Your Data, BUT DON’T Stop There
Avoid the urge to delete the data because, according to (CISA), this is insufficient. Believe it or not, the content is still there and can be recovered by experts even though you sent all the data to the recycle on your desktop.
As per CISA, a safer solution is to use a device that erases the content before overwriting, or wiping away the information from the storage device. CISA advises that consumers use a program covering all zeros in its stacking to remove the computer’s details several times.
Discard the Computer Safely
Now that you have backed up your confidential data and cleaned up your disc, you’re all set to get rid of the machine. Many computers contain hazardous materials, such as heavy metallic chemicals that can pollute the environment and should not be disposed of like other waste. You should consider another, safer, more useful method.
Why not give it to a neighbor or a colleague who requires a machine? Or exchange it for something else? Or, why not donate it? Donating your old computer to the less fortunate, or school, is a great idea, as they may be able to utilize the machine for many purposes, e.g., children using it to supplement their learning.
Computer recycling and donation services are offered by many computer suppliers and hardware retailers. Whatever you decide, make sure to back up all of your important and confidential data before disposing of your machine.
Our recycling professionals at Computer Sleuths employ data protection services to ensure your computers are safe and in perfect working condition! To get an estimate of how much our recycling service will cost, get in touch with us today!