How to safely get rid of your old pc.–PC Pitstop.
Safely Dispose of a PC
by Christina DesMarais for Techlicious
Updated on 11/6/2015 to reflect new pricing and recommendations
Have an old computer lying around the house? Don’t just throw it away. Computers house all sorts of toxins that are bad for the environment and all of us who live in it. Not to mention the personal information—passwords, account numbers, license keys or registration numbers for software programs, addresses and phone numbers, medical and prescription information, tax returns and other personal documents—that you would rather not fall into the wrong hands.
So what to do?
How to delete your personal information
However you choose to dispose of your computer, you need to do several things if you don’t want a stranger to access your data.
Save important files
Back up your files or transfer them to a new computer. The least consuming way to do this is to invest in an external hard drive, like the WD 2TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive ($94.09 on Amazon). This drive also comes in 3TB ($109.00 on Amazon), 4TB ($126.64 on Amazon) and 6TB ($187.97 on Amazon) capacities.
If you’re looking for easy ongoing backup and file syncing solution, use a cloud service such as Google Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive. Google Drive gives you 15GB of storage for free and if you need more you can buy 100GB for $1.99 a month and 1TB for $9.99 a month. OneDrive gives you 5GB of free storage with options to buy 100GB, 200GB and 1TB for a monthly subscriptions of $1.99, $2.99 or $6.99 respectively. Apple iCloud only 5GB free and their 50GB costs $0.99 per month, 200GB runs $2.99 per month and the 1TB option runs $19.99 per month. Dropbox offers just 2GB free, but their 1TB option is $9.99 a month currently or $99.99 per year.
After backing up your files in the cloud, you can easily transfer them to a new machine or access them anywhere you have an Internet connection, even from your smartphone. Cloud storage also comes in handy if your computer dies and you need to restore your files or you’re traveling and need access to data on a different device.