We do want advanced technology.
We want the smallest.
We want the lightest.
We want the fastest.
We want more storage, and so on.
We should properly dispose of our old computers after they are no longer needed. When it’s time to dispose of computers, they present several unique challenges. They become solid waste. Computers, like many electronics, contain heavy metals that can be disposed of improperly and cause environmental damage. Plus, no one wants personal data to get into the wrong hands. Computers frequently have a great deal of information such as credit card details, passwords, account numbers, bank log-ins, etc.
Here are several easy ways to eliminate that space-consuming old computer safely.
Back up critical personal data.
Make a copy of everything on your computer that you’ll need in the future once you retire your machine. Emptying the recycle bin is not enough. Always back up more information than is necessary – it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can store essential data on a USB stick or an external hard drive – both are available at electronic stores. There is also the option of using online cloud storage, which is open to casual users by registering an account.
Ensure that all your devices are logged out of your accounts.
These include Facebook, Twitter, email, and other social media accounts. You should also log out of any game you have played on this device and ensure that any saved data is deleted.
After you have backed up essential information, deleting it is the safest way to prevent identity theft. A deleted file from a computer’s recycling bin or equivalent is still recoverable. Formatting your hard drive is typically required to make it somewhat free of personal information. Make sure you are done using your computer before doing this, as formatting might be irreversible and will essentially make your computer a “clean-blank-slate.”
Contact the manufacturer to see if they have a recycling or disposal program.
If not, consider contacting them to see what options are available to you. Although many computer manufacturers claim to be environmentally conscious, not all of them have been keeping their word. Many computer wastes are shipped to landfills in developing countries, where they pose an environmental and health threat to the local community. Please research your manufacturer’s recycling and disposal practices before giving your computer to your manufacturer.
You can recycle or dispose of your computer through a recycling company.
Many independent companies process, recycle and dispose of computer waste today. Find a local company in your area. You may be able to dispose of your computer for free or may need to pay a disposal fee, depending on which services are available. However, like computer manufacturers, some e-waste recycling and disposal companies have less than stellar business practices. Research the companies you choose for your disposal needs to ensure that they have environmentally friendly practices. The recycling company should also be able to take your monitors, circuitboards and other equipment. Be sure to check the electronic items the company will take.
Choose an electronic recycling facility that meets EPA’s criteria and standards for properly recycling electronics. Some e-waste companies specialize in disposing of e-waste, and some offer a hard drive shredding service. Shredding your data device is the only way you are sure all personal information is destroyed.
Hard drive shredding is the best option available, and it’s FREE!
Hard drive shredding protects against identity theft and data recovery. This process destroys hard drives, credit cards, floppy disks, flash drives, USB sticks, tapes, and DVDs & CDs. It can crush 2000 pieces of hard drive per hour, making it the most secure way to destroy data. Consider using Urban E Recycling’s FREE service when you get rid of your old computers and other electronics. Not only that, the company provides a FREE pick-up of your electronic waste. For more information on this program, call (813) 512-6998, visit their website at https://urbanerecycling.com or find them on social media pages Facebook and Instagram.
Take a moment to consider how best to protect your data whether your computer is no longer working or upgraded to the latest model. While taking this step will benefit the environment, it will also help keep your information safe from identity thieves and other criminals.