CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – You may have an old computer that’s just collecting dust and want to throw it away.
However, it’s important to know not to just throw away your old computer.
It contains many different types of toxins that are bad for the environment and there’s all of your personal information, passwords, account numbers, tax returns and medical records.
Before you get rid of your old computer, there are several things you’ll need to do if you don’t want a stranger to access your data.
“We need to wipe that computer clean and then I recommend destroying the hard drive.”Willis Cantey, Cantey Tech
Willis Cantey, president of Cantey Tech, says that protecting your information is very important because people who want it are everywhere and they are smart.
Here are some tips for how you can better protect the information on your computer:
- Delete and overwrite sensitive files
- Turn on drive encryption
- De-authorize your computer
- Delete your browsing history
- Uninstall your programs
- Wipe your hard drive
All of these tips can be done for free.
“There’s a free software that you can use called Darik’s Boot and Nuke and it’s free. We run a lot of our drives before we send them off to be destroyed.”Willis Cantey, Cantey Tech
David Smith, the director of information systems at Goodwill, went through the process of making sure a computer is clean of your information and you can imagine how much information is on there from over the years.
“20 years of working on PCs, I’ve seen a lot of things.”David Smith, Director of information services, Goodwill
Once you have wiped your hard drive, the best way to dispose of your computer is to recycle, donate, trade-in or sell it, so that none of your toxins inside your computer end up in a landfill.