Recycling an old desktop or laptop seems like a simple and straightforward task. However, did you know that your deleted files and folders can be recovered from your computer’s hard-drive? Although it may be hard to believe that despite deleting files and folders, they can still be recovered, this fact is absolutely true. Sensitive information such as financial statements, business documents, or photos and videos of a disreputable nature – those that could be used to blackmail you – can be extracted by anyone who manages to get access to your old PC. Therefore, you really need to take appropriate precautions before recycling your old PC. Consequently, the following are some useful tools and tips to assure your privacy is not compromised.
One essential step you should take before recycling your PC is to make sure you run CCleaner on it. CCleaner is a must have app for any PC user, regardless of whether you are going to recycle your PC or not. The app is purpose built to clean and remove traces of browsing data, plus, it also speeds up your PC considerably. CCleaner will actually get rid of all your browser’s cookies and search history – because you don’t want anyone to find out what websites you like to visit most frequently.
Reset your PC with Windows 8:
Before Windows 8, geeks frequently utilized third-party data shredding software on windows vista and 7 machines. However, with Windows 8, there’s no need to use third-party software anymore. Simply by going into the settings menu, one can reset windows 8 – sort of a fresh install – though none of your existing files and folders are affected. This feature is only available in Windows 8, so it may not be of any help.
Remove your hard-drive:
If you want to be 100 percent sure that your data won’t be compromised, then its best to remove the actual hard-drive from your desktop or laptop before sending it in for recycling. Even though you may have shredded your files and folders on your hard-drive, it doesn’t guarantee that they won’t be discovered. In fact, criminals are known to spend thousands of dollars on developing the most sophisticated data recovery software. Thus, removing your hard-drive is only way you can assure data privacy.
Smash your hard-drive:
At some point or another, you’ll need to get rid of your hard-drive – without compromising your data. Consequently, the only way to truly recycle your hard-drive would be to smash it to bits. Surely, once smashed, your data is gone forever.
Summing up the points:
These are some of the essential things you have to do, in order to assure the security of your data. Of course, you can choose not to follow these tips at all – in that case you’ll also be risking your identity – thus, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep in mind that you can become victim of e-crime at any point. Therefore, it’s advisable to Lock Folders to prevent hackers and crackers from accessing them. Finally, make sure that your antivirus software is up to date to prevent malicious software from infecting your PC.
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