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Disposing Computers? Read Me First!

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Disposing Computers? Read Me First!

Postby Sal » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:24 pm

Personal information left on a computer or other devices can come back to haunt you.  Credit card information, passwords, and bank accounts in the wrong hands can result in trouble.  The potential problems are endless.

Before disposing a computer remove the hard drive and destroy it.  Deleting data files does not work.  It is still readable.  You may think that if the computer crashed or is broken that it is safe to scrap it.  However, the hard drive can still be removed and easily read so be sure to destroy it.

You can take apart the drive, remove the disks inside and destroy them.  It may take a little time and you will need to have the right tools.
A sledgehammer works well too.  Wrap the hard drive in a towel to keep pieces from flying, put on eye protection, and go at it.  You could also drill many holes through it outside of the center.  In the center is the motor that holds and spins the disks.  You want to destroy the disks.

The problem is not limited to computers, smart phones and other gadgets that store personal information should have all data destroyed.  Most new gadgets have internal memory so removing the memory cards is not enough.  But if you don’t care about the gadget, remove and destroy the SIM card and any memory card and the sledgehammer should do the trick.

There are many ways to destroy data.  Just do a search on the Internet.  The important thing is to make sure the data is destroyed.
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