How do I dispose of my computer?

This is a great time we are living in, if you are a person that loves technology. It seems that once you become an expert with a particular device, an upgraded version is being released. Now you have to decide whether you can justify buying a new gadget when the old one still works.

The question that often comes up is what to do with the old device. When it comes to things like cell phones, I will usually keep one old phone as a backup. It is a lot easier and quicker to add a SIM card to the old phone while a replacement phone is being shipped to you. Usually with computers and tablets, I will usually responsibly dispose of them or use them to trade in for the new device. Best Buy even has a recycling program, and they can using be found in most cities. There are a few companies that will take your old device on a trade-in program , and discount the new item you are purchasing.

In either case, it is important that the data be properly erased before leaving your possession. This goes for all electronic devices that can store information. Common examples would include USB drives, portable hard drives, phones, computers, and tablets. It is impossible for you to know what will be done with your devices when they leave your procession, and simply deleting files is not a secure way of removing your data. By doing a basic delete of files, a savvy individual with simple tools has the ability to recover that data. This could expose things like banking information, passwords, and even social security numbers.

Many cell phone manufacturers provide a method to do a security wipe of the phone. What this does is completely erases the data from the device so that it can not be recovered. For other devices, I prefer a Open Source tool called DBAN. What this does is completely writes over every sector of the hard drive several times. This tool is free, easy to use, and increases the difficulty of recovering any data from your device. The alternative is to remove the storage media from the device, and physically destroy the storage medium. While this may be extreme, how much is your peace of mind and security worth?




 

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