Computer Recycling Safety
You have finally decided to upgrade to a new computer. After you have transferred all of your items to the new computer, how do you safely dispose of the old one. You can either recycle, donate or resell the old computer. Before taking any of these steps those, you must first clean it. This does not mean dusting it off. You have to actually “clean” the hard drive so that none of your personal information can be retrieved.
As hard scatter and store data in different places in the bits and pieces of your computer, performing a straight delete of files does not actually remove them from your hard drive. You will actually need to wipe clean your hard drive to protect yourself. While these type of programs differ in that some erase the entire disk, some allow you to pick and choose files to erase. Programs that erase the hard drive several times are more effective than those that do it just once. Failure to do this correctly puts you at risk of providing your personal information to someone that may commit identity theft. You may want to ask somebody that is knowledgeable with computers to assist you in this process. Your only other option is to remove the hard drive completely and destroy that piece.
Software is available at your local office supply store or you may even find programs online, some of which are free. Whatever program you choose, be sure to completely check out the product for it’s effectiveness before using it. Please note that if your personal computer is used for anything business related, the law requires you to follow the strict data security disposal procedures for information pertaining to any customers personal information.
Once your computer is “clean”, you can then decide how you’re going to dispose of it. Since computers may contain hazardous materials that do not belong in a landfill, you cannot dispose of it in your trash dumpster.
Recyle: by contacting the manufacturer of the computer to see if they have a recycle program. You may also log into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to check the recycle information listed on their website at www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/erecycling/donate.htm