Do you have several old electronics just sitting on your shelf and collecting dust? Why haven’t you gotten rid of these devices yet? Are you worried about your security? Are you unsure of how to go about electronics recycling? Maybe you are both—concerned for your personal security and not sure how to move forward with recycling. Whatever your reasons, there are definitive steps you can take to protect yourself before discarding any old electronics.
Backup Your Hard Drive
The first thing you should do before recycling any old computer or tablet is backup your hard drive. You can either backup your data on an external drive or use the cloud. However, the most secure option is likely an external hard drive that is not directly connected to the internet.
Thoroughly Scrub Your Data
Once you are positive that all of your information is safely stored off of your computer, you can begin the process of scrubbing your data from the old machine. While some people may feel that simply deleting files will eliminate data from your computer or tablet’s hard drive, that is not always the case. To protect yourself, there are several things you should do to make sure your files are eliminated from the device.
- Uninstall programs
Programs that you installed can have personal data stored within the data files. Therefore, when you want to recycle a computer or other electronic device, uninstall any programs you downloaded or added to the system.
- Unlink Programs
Beyond uninstalling programs, you will want to ensure that the device is no longer linked to any of your accounts. You can check permissions with specific software, making sure that the computer is no longer permitted.
- Clear browser
Next, clear your browser and not just browsing history. You will want to remove any favorite sites or saved usernames and passwords. While a hard reset may eliminate lingering files, a browser may not be wiped entirely, especially if it doesn’t require login information.
- Delete all files
Now, you can go through your files and delete everything. All personal information should be deleted and removed from the computer. While simply emptying the recycle bin may not permanently erase information, it is a necessary step before performing a factory reset.
- Restore factory settings
Next, you can restore factory settings. When you do this, everything should be returned to its original operations. Therefore, anything you may have forgotten to delete may have been erased during the factory reset.
- Wipe all data
The last thing to do is use a hard drive erasing program to overwrite all of your deleted files. This software will ensure that your information cannot be restored after you have gotten rid of the device, meaning it will be safe to donate, sell or recycle.
Consider Donating or Reselling
Next, before you recycle computers or tablets, consider donating or reselling them. If your computer is not that old, or if it is still in good working order, then some charities would happily accept the device and provide it to people in need. Also, it is possible to earn a few bucks off of the device if it is not too old and works.
Understand Regulatory Standards Before Recycling
If the device is not able to be donated or sold, then be sure you understand the regulatory standards before recycling the machine. For example, if you work in specific industries, then there may be individual legal requirements for deleting information. Also, there may be precautions that need to be taken regarding the type of battery. Therefore, it is always best to consult with a professional before recycling.
Contact High Tech Recycling
Are you looking to recycle computer parts, or do you have an old device you want to get rid of? Then contact High Tech Recycling at (248) 975-7206 and let them help you determine the right way to recycle your unwanted electronics.