This is a time to be extra careful about computer donations.

I’ve been reading about how a lot of computers are vulnerable since workers are going home and trying to keep up with their work. Hackers are having a heyday with easy access because home computers are not as secure as the workplace. It’s true; You do want to beef up your security when there is client information being released back and forth from your home and office.  It is very important to make sure home computers are secured and malware and computer viruses, That’s not all that you need to think about. Don’t suffer from misdirected compassion.

Speaking of misdirection of compassion, I see different Facebook posts and other social platforms that people are offering to take your old computer and repair them. They are offering to give them to people, mainly children, that are in need because of the pandemic crisis we are experiencing. Beware! Please do not fall victim to this scam. I read one post that offered this kind of charitable proposition.

A friend sent it to me and asked me to post it. In the post, he was offering to receive these computers and wipe the hard drive, fix them and send them to children who have to do school work from home. It sounded like such a nice, charitable offer. Not so fast. Being involved in the industry I know what it takes to erase a hard drive. It takes up to seven hours for most equipment. Setting your computer to factory setting does not do it.

The fact is, most of the used hard drives that are sold on popular sites have data left on them. I did some research on this individual. I could not find him anywhere else. He had nothing on his about page. He only had four posts, and all were recent. I couldn’t find him on any other website or social media. Although it was a common name (of course) he had a picture of a man with a cello. He was directing the post to ‘Tampa peeps’. So I looked up the name with cello player, cello, musician, Tampa, Tampa Bay, etc. Nothing. I looked in ‘images’ on the google search hoping to find the name with the picture. Nothing. He had no Linkedin page, nor any other social media profile.

I am convinced that this is a scam. No matter what, I would never trust anyone to wipe my hard drive and donate my computer. Knowing the business, as an owner of an electronic recycling company, it’s just not smart.

Beware of charitable persons that are not associated with a known organization. Even if they say they are, check them out first. Do your due diligence. Don’t let yourself be a victim of identity compromise.