ShredQuick Blog

3 Things Clearwater Residents Should Know Before Selling Their Old Computers

A retro computer from the 80's. This image represents e-waste warnings.

Is it safe to sell an old computer? Since so much of life happens online today, it’s crucial that you keep your personal information out of the hands of hackers and identity thieves.

Before you put your computer up for sale, here are three essential things you should consider.

1. Nothing Is Ever Deleted

When you delete a file from your computer, it’s not really gone. Experienced computer wizards can effortlessly restore deleted files, which is why selling your computer may put you at risk for a cyberattack.

There are some commercial programs available that promise to wipe your hard drive clean. But unless your hard drive is physically destroyed, how can you be sure that no one will ever recover files from your computer? The safest option is to have your hard drive restored or recycled. That way, you can sell the computer without this component.

2. Some Hackers Hunt for Old Computers

Cybercrime is a lucrative industry, and one method criminals use to get data is hunting for old computers. Unsuspecting sellers who part with their machines are unaware of the specialized techniques cybercriminals use to steal data. 

Even if you rely on cloud services to organize your files and data, a skilled hacker can still use your computer to access this sensitive information. Data thieves are highly adaptable—and more dangerously, they’re determined. Without knowing it, you may be putting your data into the hands of an identity thief.

3. Formatting a Drive Isn’t Always Enough

Reformatting your hard drive and reinstalling the operating system can create the illusion of a brand-new machine. But in some cases, reformatting does little more than alter the file structuring system on the hard disk itself. You may be doing little more than wiping out the file header and File Allocation Table (FAT) information. With the right experience, a hacker can quickly gain access to the files and data you thought you’d deleted.

Selling Your Computer Without the Hard Drive

Does this mean that Clearwater residents can’t sell their computers? Of course not. But for the highest level of security, you may want to consider selling your laptop or computer without the hard drive installed. Sure, your computer will drop in value a bit, but you’ll avoid a lot of worry and anxiety.  

At ShredQuick, we offer hard drive shredding services with the same level of security as the NSA. You can even send your hard drive to us through the mail for added convenience. Trust us to keep your sensitive information out of the wrong hands.

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