Cyber Security Tip #15: Ways to Safely Dispose of Old Computers

With the Holidays just around the corner, folks may be considering upgrading their old desktop or laptop to a newer model.  So what do people do with their old computers?  It is important to remember to erase all personal information from old computers before disposing or selling them.  Simply reformatting a hard drive or reinstalling the operating system does not guarantee that your personal information is actually gone from the computer.

Here are some tips on how to safely dispose of them:

  • You could physically destroy the hard drive
  • For those who want to sell their old system or give it a family member, destroying the hard drive may not be a plausible option. In this case using a special “wipe” program will erase all your personal information.  Programs such as Active@ KillDisk and Softpedia DP Wiper, are free and meet government security standards.
  • Both  Apple and Microsoft have refurbish programs that will safely dispose of old electronics and securely wipe the data for you.