Steps To Take Before Disposing of a Computer

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laptop with cable connection to external drive before disposing

Once you’ve taken the leap to upgrade your company’s computer equipment, you may be wondering how to begin getting rid of the old devices. Because business computers often hold loads of sensitive and personal information, it’s imperative to understand the steps to take before disposing of a computer. Avoid putting your company at risk for leaking private data by following these actions.

Back Up Data

The first step is to back up your important data to avoid losing anything in the switch. There are a few different options to do this, so do whatever works best for you. A surefire way to ensure you don’t miss anything is by using an external hard drive. Another viable option is to back everything up to the cloud.

Erase Your Data 

Clearing the system of all data isn’t exactly an easy task, but here are the steps you should follow to ensure nobody can recover your company’s information:

Delete All of Your Files

It’s crucial to understand that simply emptying your trash can isn’t enough to delete your files from your computer completely. It remains on your hard drive until it gets overwritten by other data.

Uninstall Programs

Many programs on your computer link to your personal information, so you must unlink and uninstall all programs to ensure nothing remains.

Clear Browser

There’s more than just your browsing history on your computer. For example, many people save passwords and other account information for easier access and logins.

Factory Reset

After you clear the device of information and files, it’s crucial to restore the computer’s default factory settings. Additionally, you should use a hard drive erasing program that overwrites your deleted data to ensure it’s gone for good.

Proper Disposal

Proper disposal has many different forms, but illegal dumping isn’t an option. Although you may think about just throwing it out, the environmental consequences of e-waste may change your mind. Instead, look into companies that specialize in electronic recycling. Oftentimes, they can even come to you and pick up everything you have to recycle.

If they’re still in good condition, consider donating them to organizations that refurbish them and give them to underfunded schools and other institutions in need. Additionally, you might be able to sell them if they’re still in tip-top shape. Hopefully, these steps to take before disposing of a computer can help you and your business in the journey of upgrading your computer equipment. Even though it may take a while to complete, you won’t regret spending the time to ensure your company’s data is safe and secure.

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