Buying new electronics? Trashing the old?
It is exciting… but often, we’re so caught up in the thrill of our shiny new gadgets that we forget to properly dispose of our older models. We rarely consider the kinds of sensitive information we’re actually leaving behind on old phones, computers, tablets, or cameras – making it all available to anybody that wants it!
It’s crucial that we take the time to care for this data correctly in order to avoid such theft. Before tossing your original electronics, make sure to backup all essential information (like personal identity documents, passwords and pins, etc.) to another device, such as a flash drive, a CD, or an online cloud service.
Then, when it comes time to dispose of them, make sure you’re doing so efficiently. You may choose to physically destroy your devices using a specialized service for your own piece of mind. For those who prefer to do things digitally, carefully deleting old files will suffice. This involves removing all memory cards and performing a hard factory reset. For computers, a disk cleaning software is also an option for added safety.
Note: Deleting old files does not involve simply dropping them into the recycling bin, or hitting a “delete” button! Doing so makes files retrievable, and therefore vulnerable to hackers and cyber threats.