Once your old computer has reached the end of it’s life, what to do with it can be an issue of serious concern. City trash collectors will no longer dispose of your old computer equipment, so in most cases the only option is to take the computer to a recycling center– but what happens to all of your photos, documents and other personal information that’s on it? Most recycling centers (if they erase your data at all) will do what’s called a “quick erase” that only takes a few minutes to complete and makes the drive appear to be empty, even though all of your personal information is still there. These computers are often then sold as “used” machines for a relatively low price either on eBay or to anyone who is willing to buy them.
We recently worked with Todays TMJ4 on a special investigation into used computers that were being sold by a Milwaukee used computer retailer. Of the three computers that they brought to us we found names, personal photo’s, documents and other private information about the computers previous owner on all of them.
Correctly and fully erasing a computers hard drive takes several hours to complete, so for many recycling centers the temptation can be great to resort to the “quick erase” that doesn’t permanently remove your data; and that’s IF they are willing to take responsibility for removing your data at all. At I.T. Connect we recycle old equipment and will fully erase old drives for our customers free of charge.
Don’t let your personal information fall into the wrong hands; when recycling an old computer you should always either make sure that whomever you are using for recycling services is someone that you can trust to fully erase it or remove the computers hard drive completely and retain possession of it. Give our Milwaukee computer repair service center us a call to learn more about your computer and cell phone recycling options.
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By Jason Roskopf