eCycling January 7, 2010

Check out my new article on eCycling your old computer!

One topic I didn’t have space to delve into is your data security when you sell, donate, or recycle an old computer. Even if you’ve deleted your sensitive files (personal information, banking details, embarrassing photos), a clever hacker can recover them from the hard drive. There are only two safe solutions, in my opinion:

1. Remove the hard drive from the computer (and keep or destroy it). Sell/donate the old computer “as is” without a hard drive, or be nice and install a brand new hard drive for the next user (you can get brand new hard drives for under $50 these days).

2. Use a utility to “zero out” the hard drive, completely destroying all existing data. I’ve had good luck with the Linux command ‘dd’, but for true peace of mind, check out applications like DBAN.

Be especially careful if you are donating your computer to a school… kids today are very good at figuring out this stuff!

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Webmaster June 10th, 2010

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