How to Securely Get Rid of an Old Computer

Your personal computer probably has a lot of sensitive data on it. It could be any type of information such as financial information including account details or personal information such as pictures or emails. So before you think of getting rid of your old computer, you need to safely delete all of your data in order to prevent any criminal activity. This is how you can securely get rid of an old computer:

Back Up Your Files

The first and foremost step is to back up and save all of your data stored in your old computer. You can secure this data by moving it to a hard drive or another secure device, or even a new computer. Make sure you check the storage capacity before transferring all of the information to another device. You can also move your data to the cloud, but it is recommended that you use external storage.

Furthermore, if you have any sensitive data such as tax files on your computer, you need to make sure that you overwrite these files or completely delete them using proper software designed for secure disposal. Don’t forget to empty the items in your trash as well.

Use Encryption

Make sure that you encrypt the device in that you transfer all your files to. You should encrypt the hard drive by going to the main settings tab on your computer and changing the security and privacy option by setting up a password. The best thing to do is to memorize your password, or you can store it somewhere secure where nobody else has access.

De-Authorize Programs

Before you uninstall any program, make sure that you de-authorize yourself. This is because some programs such as iTunes or Microsoft Office don’t allow you to install software on multiple computers for access to your files. Thus, you should first remove yourself from the current installation and then reinstall the software on your new device.

Delete All History

Most browsers save the browser history as well as other information such as your username and password for multiple sites. You can delete all of your history and make your computer forget passwords by erasing the history. You can do this by clicking on the three-dot menu on the top right corner of the screen, go to settings, privacy and security, and click “clear browsing data.”

Wipe Off Your Hard Drive

The last step is to wipe off your hard drive by performing a factory reset. You can install a program called Eraser, which will help you delete all of your files. You can even contact a disposal specialist in order to ensure that the data has been safely removed.     

Once you have saved all of your information, uninstalled programs, and erased your hard drive, it is time to get rid of your old computer. If you don’t already know what to do with your computer, you can either donate it or recycle it. However, if your computer is in good shape and relatively new, you might want to consider selling it or trading it for a better one.