Are you planning to buy a new laptop or desktop computer? Are you planning to dump your old laptop or PC? Wait, probably you are giving away your identity or key to your wealth along with that computer. Data shows that more than 20% of identity thefts resulted from old disposed off PCs. If this doesn’t scare you. think about other statistics.
more than 50% of ‘home made’ porn videos are stolen from disposed of PC or stolen at the time of PC repair.
What to do to safely dispose of your personal PC or laptop
Do not just throw off the old clunker, spend some time on it, even if you are completely nerd you can dispose of old computer rightly. In an extreme case, you can take help from some tech guy you know well.
All you need to do is wipe clean the old machine before it leaves your home. Here is what you need to do
Copy all data
To save time, save money, copy your files, videos, pictures and software on to an external drive or directly to the new computer.
1. Pictures, videos, games and data files
Many of these probably costed you money or better, these might be the costliest of the memories you have, don’t lose it
2. Browser Data
Very important that you export browser bookmarks to a file and save the file to be used in the new computer. Make sure you saved all online id/passwords to a separate file, many times you forgot the password just because browser memorized it on your behalf for long time, on new computer setting the accounts up again will take significant time otherwise. How to save fire fox bookmarks, How to Save IE bookmarks, How to save Chrome bookmark, How to save Safari Bookmarks
If you’re using a desktop eMail program like Thunderbird or Outlook, do backup the profile and take your address book with you. How to move outlook to another computer, How to transfer Thunderbird to another computer
4. Program Data
Did you create databases, make specific settings, or save other data with any of the programs you’re using? Think of calendars, bibliography tools, image editing software, games, or music playlists. Any of that information can be backed up and transferred to your new computer.
Did you install any additional fonts? They are very likely to be compatible with the new computer; to save time on re installing, backup the fonts folder. In Windows, it’s found under C:/Windows/Fonts
Wipe out hard disk
This is most critical to protect identity theft through your computer. Even after deleting files from computer, they can be recovered by a specialized software. You need to erase hard disk properly. There are many free software available to wipe-clean the hard disk, you don’t have to spend 1 cent to get this free software, here is the link. Free software to Erase disk
Strip Out Useful Parts
Some parts of your computer might be useful for you or someone else. Before you dispose of, check if the webcam or mouse or keyboard is still in good condition. You can reuse these in the new computer or simply donate it to charity. I do keep them with me, and when required on new computer, I use them, it’s a save. I do have the battery and power adapter of my old computer with me if needed on the new one.
Destroy hard disk
If you have any melting machine shop nearby try this option, absolutely hacker safe. Absolutely the best way to safeguard your information. There are metal crushers who can destroy hard disk completely.
Claim Tax refund
You may be able to receive a tax benefit, if you donate your computer to a nonprofit or charity organization like Goodwill, especially if the computer is relatively new and still has a retail value. The tax could be deducted on the fair market value of the computer. The tax should not be claimed if you dispose of your computer.
How disposing of your computer in the right way affect your finances? As explained earlier, your identity is safer and your confidential banking account information will not be compromised and you can claim some money if you donate.
I would like to give one last advise to my readers, if possible try to donate your computer for poor and needy people instead of selling it, off-course if you can afford losing some money , and this way you will do good to environment too. Where you can donate your computer.