How to Dispose of Your Laptop Securely: 3 Simple Steps

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Are you considering getting out of the old PC because it wasn’t performing better than it did during the good days, or perhaps you required an upgrade to a computer that didn’t meet your needs? 

You’re in the right spot. 

Many believe that laptops with low battery life or no power left are secure to dispose of. 

However, truthfully anyone who has the proper knowledge and an evil motive may have access to the saved data if you’re not careful about the method you use to remove the device.

1. Back up your device

Before getting rid of your laptop, ensure that you back up its contents and data, either on the new device, in the form of an external drive or using a secure cloud storage system. 

A backup before taking your laptop away provides you with peace of mind and ensures that you do not lose any vital data when it’s gone, and also allows you to not worry about losing anything.

Based on your needs as well as the space you require and the product and brand you’re looking to back up, you have a variety of options available to you:

  • External hard drives will ensure that there will be no storage issues even when you’re storing large files such as photos and videos. In general, these drives cost a hefty price compared to the other choices. 
  • USB drives are available in various shapes and sizes and are an overall less expensive and more portable option. However, the lower cost and space means that storage capacity will typically be less, making it challenging to back up computers with a lot of content.
  • One of the most user-friendly available options is cloud-based storage, which permits users to backup and accesses their data from any device, offering the most incredible flexibility for the cost of a monthly/yearly subscription.

2. Disrupt your hard drive, or wipe it clean

Based on the way you decide whether to eliminate your laptop safely, there are usually two options:

Dispose of your hard drive physically

Physical destruction is the long-lasting non-destructive method to ensure that nobody gets access to an old computer. To ensure the safety of your drive, make sure you follow these simple steps:

  • Unplug the laptop from the power outlet and allow it to run until you can be sure that there isn’t a battery left before you open the case of your computer. If you’re in a hurry by your schedule, turning off the computer will suffice.
  • Locate the screws on the case and then unwind the casing until it is opened and the components are easily accessible. 
  • Locate, unplug and remove the hard drive away from its casing.
  • Make sure you break the drive into several pieces, ensuring that fragments and parts don’t injure you. You are free to use tools and hammers to clean or drill holes into it. Keep going until you are sure that the hard drive has been damaged.

It’s relatively simple to destroy different components of your laptop that may still be of use or even sold. 

Therefore, only proceed with the process when you’re confident with laptops and feel sure that you won’t harm any other component.

Cleanse your hard drive, and recycle your laptop

As it’s becoming more apparent that there are no urgent reasons to throw away your computer by physical destruction, there are various environmental and security benefits to recycling the laptop you have. 

Recycling or donating has slowly increased in importance. It’s currently an increasingly popular method of getting rid of old electronics, leading to revenue or even reducing your expenses when you upgrade to a more efficient model. 

But, simply formatting your device isn’t enough to be confident that you will be able to quit the old laptop peacefully. Since skilled hackers could access your personal information: bank account information, credit card details, or any other information they want to access.  

3. Get rid of your laptop as well as its components

If you’ve ruled out any risk to your information, there are certain aspects to address before you part in your notebook. They contain harmful substances such as mercury, arsenic, and lead, so it’s not environmentally sustainable to dispose of your laptop by throwing it into the garbage bin.

The most effective options for securely disposing of your laptop You should:

Recycle or resell it: To recoup a certain amount of money from the components of your PC that are valuable. Certain companies provide IT marketing services to help you recover a portion of the costs you incur. 

The funds may be significant when you get rid of equipment in bulk, which allows you to cut down on the expense of picking a new laptop.

Donate it: If your laptop isn’t appropriate for you, but is still functioning in the meantime, consider donating it. First of all, you’d be doing the planet a favor since the manufacturing process influences 70 percent of a laptop’s footprint, so prolonging your device’s lifespan could reduce its environmental impact. 

The donation of your laptop could bring a new device into the hands of those who cannot afford it, thereby helping reduce the digital gap.

We hope this guide will help you properly dispose of old laptops.

Felix Olsson

Felix Olsson

Felix Olsson is a VPN and web security expert. He is a tech enthusiast who loves testing VPN services and the latest developments in the cybersecurity world. You'll often find him either reading privacy policies or testing a new service or device.

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