Scope (?):  All Topics
11 2 1
Hot or Not?

3 steps to take when disposing of your computer

submitted on October 7, 2010 by jack69darin in "Member's Lounge"
Most people wouldn't throw out their Social Security card or toss a credit card in the trash. Yet careful souls worldwide have been dumping old computers by the millions, filling landfills with exactly that kind of sensitive information, where aggressive high-tech criminals can readily scoop it up.

According to the latest statistics from the EPA, 205 million computer products were disposed of in 2007, with a paltry 48 million of those recycled. That leaves plenty of identities in the garbage stream just waiting to be poached.

Indeed, many computers are being mined for Social Security numbers, credit card information, bank statements, investment records and various other tidbits that open the door for everything from credit card fraud to full-on identity theft. While exact numbers are difficult to come by, there's no doubt it's happening with ever more frequency.

"I've personally met hundreds of people who have had their identity stolen this way," says John Sileo, identity protection expert and author of "Privacy Means Profit," available at "The thing is, if thieves are smart -- which they are -- it should be a massive problem, because it's such an easy way to get data."

You don't have to be a victim. Taking these three simple steps when discarding a desktop or laptop computer virtually guarantees your private information can't be stolen.

Read the 3 steps:

  • 82569
    1 6 2
    11 4 1
    Posted by Solstice on October 7, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    I'm always amazed at what people leave behind on the hard drives they throw away.

    I recently recovered a hard drive from a computer placed by a dumpster.
    I'm sure the parents of 16 year old Suzie [Name Changed] would have disapproved of her taste in pornography. (The drive was promptly wiped and then reformatted after recovery for her protection.)
  • 82570
    1 6 2
    11 4 1
    Posted by Solstice on October 7, 2010
    [reply] 1 0
    FYI: There are plenty of free software options on the Web to wipe data off hard drive. Some have the ability to just wipe the "Free Space" on a drive, while leaving any other active files or programs intact.

    If you really want to ensure complete erasure of data on a entire drive a good option is D-Ban.
    (D-Ban Program Link)
    (D-Ban More Info Link)
  • 82572
    7 1 1
    Posted by deathbynosleep on October 7, 2010
    [reply] 6 0
    I never throw away hard drives. Wipe em clean, and use them as external hard drives. Right now I have a his and hers external drives. She stores her pictures and music, and i have one with music videos and artwork.

Leave a Comment (members Sign in to comment)


E-Mail (will not be published)

2 x 3 = ?


'Mr Green''Neutral''Twisted''Arrow''Eek''Smile''Confused''Cool''Evil''Big Grin''Idea''Red Face'



Browse by tags