Were you one of the many fortunate people this Christmas who received a new computer to replace that aging machine that had sat upon your desk?
If so, how did you dispose of the old one?
Gave it to charity?
Good for you!
Sold it on?
I hope you enjoy the money you received.
Threw it away?
Nevermind, I’m sure the dustman enjoyed it.
Either way, the point is, what did you do with it before disposal?
Chances are, you will answer, “nothing”.
And therein lies the potential problem.
The vast majority of people who discard old computers don’t give a second thought to the consequences.
Saved away on it’s internal hard drive is all the data you have collected and left on there over the life of the machine.
To the hardened fraudster, even some of the data you have deleted may be recoverable!
Considering how many people record PIN numbers, passwords, bank account numbers and other personal and financial details on their computers this is quite frightening.
If your old PC falls into the wrong hands then everything you have ever stored on it could be used against you.
Identity theft is a particularly nasty crime – don’t make it easy to fall prey to it.
If you are disposing of a hard drive then search the web – there are many tools available free to permanently wipe a drive.
Better still, as you are throwing the computer away, do a full reformatting of your hard drive in order to protect yourself, your identity and your future finances.