Sometimes, our trusted electronics break.
And we have to get rid of them.
How far do you go to make sure your data-storing device is disposed of? Will anyone still be able to pull your private information from it even if you just dump it in the garbage? Even if all you get is a blank screen or it’s been waterlogged, cybercriminals may still be able to access your data. So let’s look at some ways to properly, and securely, say goodbye to our electronics.
Find a Disk Wiping ProgramIf you don’t have high-stakes information on your device, this is one easy step you can take to ensure basic security. Googling ‘Disk Wiping’ Program will result in hundreds of online solutions that will help wipe your hard drive clean. Many of the programs are even free! As with anything involved with handling your data, make sure you research the program you choose before using it to ensure it won’t download a virus or misuse your information. These disk wiping programs are some of the current, most highly rated, programs on the market today!
Use a DegausserWhat in the world is a degausser? Well, if you find yourself constantly needing to erase hard drives you may want to invest in one. A degausser is a tool that interrupts or changes a magnetic domain, or type of storage medium, on a hard drive. It scrambles the data patterns so that the information is unreadable. While they are typically run in the thousands of dollars, you may purchase a degausser wand for around $500.
Get it Wiped ProfessionallyFor a price, there may be a company near you that specializes in erasing data from hard drives. Do some thorough research on these types of businesses in your area. Ask a colleague for a recommendation. Using a company to delete your data may be necessary for those who need to meet compliance and who need some type of certification that the device has, in fact, thoroughly been wiped.
If you want to go the extra mile to feel secure, you can also find services that will shred your hard drive. Check out this video to watch how a mega-shredder works. It is a sure-fire way to make sure no dumpster diver could ever piece your data back together.
My computer’s wiped, so now what?
Select a Non-Profit OrganizationMany non-profits will take your old electronics and either strip them for their parts or try to refurbish them if they’re not beyond repair. Check to be sure your technology will be correctly recycled by the organization if it is not reusable. If they are able to fix your donation, the non-profit will then donate it to another organization or individual who is in need. Your old device could end up changing someone’s life for the better!
Get Help from your Local GovernmentAs part of public works, many cities now have electronic waste recycling. You can take old computers, phones, TVs, sound systems, batteries, microwaves, and more to specified locations and the agency in charge will see that it gets recycled properly. Go online and check out your options!
This video shows how, exactly, a computer is recycled.