So you have finally upgraded your system and are ready to get rid of your old computer. But you do not want to just throw it away. Here are some tips on how to get rid of your old computer safely so you can enjoy your new computer with peace of mind.
Before You Get Rid Of It
Before you get rid of any computer it is a good idea to wipe the hard drive. This way no one can steal your identity or access your accounts with the personal information you store on your computer. There are three ways you can protect yourself.
The first method is to format your hard drive. This has been a popular way to destroy data for years. Unfortunately, it is no longer effective. As technology advances there are more and more ways to recover data from a computer. There are services and software programs available to anyone with or without computer knowledge that will recover data from a formatted hard drive. These are very reasonably priced, which makes them a good investment for someone looking to steal thousands of dollars with identity theft.
The second method is to use disk wiping software. These software programs are supposed to wipe your data from your hard drive completely. However, most of them do not do as they claim. Instead, the software will delete and overwrite your hard drive repeatedly, making data harder to retrieve, but not making it impossible. If you are going to buy software to wipe your hard drive, do your research into the software to see what it actually does. Make sure that it is actually going to wipe your hard drive permanently, not just erase the contents.
Finally, the most effective method of protecting yourself is to destroy the hard drive. This is not as bad as it sounds. In fact, the hard drive makes up less than ten percent of the total value of a computer. So even if you are going to sell the computer, it will still be worth money if you physically destroy the hard drive. However, when destroying the hard drive keep in mind that data can still be retrieved off of a damaged hard drive. You need to completely destroy the hard drive beyond recognition to protect your data. The best way to do this is to open up the hard drive, remove the ceramic discs inside, and smash them with a hammer.
Getting Rid of Your PC
There are five main ways to get rid of a computer. You could donate it, although this isn’t as easy as it used to be. If your computer is new enough to be of use, you might try local schools, Goodwill or Salvation Army, or posting it for free on Craigslist.
You can, of course, sell your old computer if it is in good enough condition (even without the hard drive). This helps offset the cost of your new computer. Recycling your computer is also an option. Check your local yellow pages or do Google searches to see what companies in your area take old hardware. Some computers companies allow trade- in, taking your old computer off of your hands for free when you buy a new one. Finally, you can reuse the computer. Load it up with music and connect it to your home theater system for a cheap stereo replacement.