Did you or someone else in your family get a new computer for Christmas? If so, you may be wondering what to do with the old one. The Woodlands Recycling Center will take your old one off your hands for a small fee, but they have a few suggestions for you first. The info below is from their web site, and it makes sense. Right after we moved here, we took a non-working scanner to them, and they just charged us $5.00 to take care of it for us, and it was well worth that small fee. But see what they say below regarding turning in an old computer:
|Use Caution When Recycling Computers
Beware when disposing of a used computer that identity thieves may be able to extract private information from your hard drive. Even if you have deleted everything from your computer or have reformatted your hard drive using the original System Restore Disk, hackers may be able to find and open so-called shadow files or hidden backup files containing sensitive information.
The safest way to protect yourself from identity theft when recycling a computer is to physically remove the hard drive and smash it with a hammer. This is recommended if you have ever entered any sensitive or proprietary information into your computer, such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, or banking information.
Your next best bet is to download a program that will ‘wipe clean’ your hard drive. A variety of shareware and freeware programs suitable for wiping your hardrive are available at www.tucows.com. Note that the operation may take several hours and once you have performed it you will never be able to recover of your old data from your computer. Proceed with caution!
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