You depend on your electronics at home, at work, and even on the go. So what happens when your computer finally bites the dust? If you can’t sell it, you’ll need to take your laptop or PC to a recycling center, but you can’t just pass it on and call it a day. Even if the screen is black, the device contains years of your personal information. Use the following guide to prepare your computer for a safe trip to the recycling plant.
3 Things to Do to Your Computer Before Recycling It
1. Back Up Your Data
If your hard drive is still running, you’ll want to save a copy of all its information before you say goodbye. Back up your documents, photos, and other personal data on an external hard drive, or upload it to a cloud-based storage account. Even if you don’t need any of those files presently, you’ll be glad you kept them around when you need to review old tax documents in a few months or create a slideshow for a wedding in a few years.
2. Erase the Data
Depending on the type of computer you have, you should be able to find out how to wipe the hard drive with a quick Google® search. For a Macbook®, you would go to the OS X Utilities list, select Disk Utility, and then select the hard drive you want to erase. For PCs, you may need to use software to wipe the hard drive clean. These programs will also write over the data repeatedly, ensuring no one has access to your information.
3. Destroy the Hardware
If you’re particularly worried about identity theft and other data-related hazards, you can go the extra mile by physically destroying your computer. While smashing the screen or monitor might not do much, you’ll do the most damage by hammering or drilling a hole straight through your hard drive. After the computer is completely dysfunctional, you can take it to a recycling center with total peace of mind.
If you’re interested in recycling your old computer, get in touch with Evage Electronic Recycling in Harrison, AR. The waste management and recycling center takes everything from TVs to kitchen appliances, and they can pick up electronics directly from your business. They also offer DataGauss®, a device that will wipe your hard drive clean, so you don’t have to go through the hassle on your own. To learn more about their services, visit the website, or call (870) 416-2294 to speak to a friendly representative.