Recycle Your Computer But Dont Be A Victim-winsockfix

Computers-and-Technology In the United States, approximately 1.84 million tons of electronic waste were deposited in landfills from 2003-2005, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The e-waste which includes computer products, TV sets, and cell phones are also responsible for 70% of the toxic heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium now stewing in those landfills. It is encouraging to note that today, the recycling rate for electronic items, computers in particular, have increased to about 18% as more and more Americans have become aware of the need for e-waste recycling and the danger these discarded products pose to our health and to the environment. Do the right thing but don’t be victimized A lot of people out there have opted to do the right thing – went out to recycle computers – only to fall victim to identity thieves and social engineering criminals who used the data left on these discarded computers to rob their victims’ bank, credit, or telephone accounts or assumed their identities in their nefarious activities. It is estimated that over 80 percent of users who discarded their computers left recoverable files like resumes, tax information, and passwords in their hard drives. The basic rule of computer recycling: by all means, do the right thing and recycle your computer but protect yourself, at all times. Here are some basic steps you can take to ensure that all your sensitive information are wiped clean off your hardware before you turn them over to the recycler: Retrieve Important Data Your old computer contains a wealth of information you probably will need in the future. Files containing sensitive personal information, pass codes, pin numbers, bank information, tax filings, etc. need to be extracted and stored elsewhere temporarily. You can extract and transfer these files to portable storage devices like DVDs, CDs, extra hard drives, or flash drives. Online file storage is also a good option, just make sure you choose a reputable, secured, and reliable host, if you choose this route. Erase Your Data Permanently Once your data is copied and stored securely elsewhere, it is now time to destroy the data in your old computer to prevent anyone from retrieving and using it later. The wrecking ball or sledge hammer method There’s no tech savviness required in this method, but physically destroying your hard drive, disk drives, etc. before sending your hardware to the recycler is the most reliable way to make sure no files can be recovered from your old computer. Magnetize that disk "Degaussing" is also another method to make the data in your hard drive irretrievable. This requires a magnet to be placed in close proximity to the hard disk, effectively erasing some data by rendering the domains in random patterns with no preference to orientation, thereby rendering previous data unrecoverable. Degaussing is not one hundred percent reliable since some domains may not be affected by the magnetic realignment and will remain intact containing recoverable data. Overwrite Your Data Using a specialized software, this method will overwrite your data with random characters several times, making it essentially unreadable. Data overwrite is considered to be a very effective method of securing your hardware and is the preferred method of erasing sensitive information by computer recycling companies themselves. There are several standards used by software companies in these disk clean-up applications: basic, which overwrites the file with random data 4 times; the Department of Defense Standard, which overwrites the file 7 times; and the Super Secure Standard, which overwrites the file 24 times. Some applications perform an impressive 30 overwrites on a file, but the DOD standard is reliable enough. Ask your recycler to do it Most reputable recyclers consider it routine procedure to clean up the hard disks that they process for recycling and will provide a form of certification that your hard drive has been secured before disposal. If the information is not readily available in the company’s FAQ, ask the recycler if the service is available. Some may charge a small extra fee, since data clean-up entails additional manpower and equipment hours. If the recycler is vague about the information, walk away, it’s not worth the risk of your hard drive ending up auctioned in eBay with all the information intact. Hopefully, when you recycle that computer or laptop you’re using right now, you will take the time to observe these basic precautionary measures. It is commendable that you’re helping to protect the environment by recycling your old computer, just don’t become a victim while doing the right thing. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: