Security Concerns Associated with Used Computer Disposal Security Concerns Associated with Used Computer Disposal
Before you throw away your old computer, you need to make sure you are practicing secyre used computer disposal. This simply means the safe removal of any personal or important information from the disk drive that will help prevent identity theft as well as your company records, health reports and whatever else has been stored on the disk drive over time.
If you decide that you want to cart your computer off to an electronic disposal site, also known as an e-waste center, you need to protect your stored information before visiting the site. This can be done by yourself, or you can take your computer or its disk drive to a reputable computer expert to perform the task of erasing.
You Can Never Be Too Safe
Simply reformatting or erasing a computer disk drive of its sensitive files and data is never enough. There are various computer programs that you can purchase to make sure everything has been safely removed from your computer should you choose to do it yourself.
Most computer users have no idea that there are actually two parts of a disk drive, one is called the index and the other is where the actual files are housed. The index tells the computer user where the files are located. Consumer often make the mistake of not destroying both parts of the disk drive in order to get it clean of their sensitive information or data. Most people just erase the index, which makes it seems as if all the information is gone, but it is actually still residing on the drive. If you are in doubt on how to perform this task, take the computer and its components to a professional.
Erase Three Times
Regardless if you decide to take the computer's disk drive to a professional or you do it at home, you need to be thorough. This means you must completely erase your disk drive from all data and personal files more than once. In fact, experts suggest that in order to thoroughly strip the disk drive of all personal information, it must be erased three times.
Always remove software programs on the old computer since a hacker or someone else receiving the computer may be able to access sensitive information from the programs you once utilized on this computer.
Be sure you erase or remove any serial numbers on the computer internally, as well as externally from the system. If the recycled computer gets in the wrong hands, and is discarded improperly, a government agency could come back to you and fine you for wrongful electronic disposal. While laws vary state by state, in some states it is a crime to dispose of computers in local garbage venues.
Additional Storage Devices
If you do not plan on donating your old computer to a school or charity, you should most likely make sure that all of the additional storage devices and peripherals such as, CD drives, floppy disks, Zip drives, DVD drives, and the like, are properly and thoroughly destroyed or erased completely.