How To

How to safely get rid of an old computer and protect your private data

I'm Maria!

As a Certified Photo Manager and Digital Organizer, I ensure my client's files are safe and easy to find. Follow me for tips on how to get your digital life in order.

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Maybe you’ve just read about the hidden risks of holding onto old tech, or maybe you’ve just binge-watched Mari Kondo’s Netflix series and have been struck with the desire to organize your ENTIRE home.

Disposing of old clothes? Easy peasy.

Unwanted books? No Prob.

Home goods? Hello Facebook Marketplace!

Old electronics?…eek, am I right?

Well, fear not! I’m here to pick up where Marie Kondo let you down. Read more to find out what to do with that old tech.

While dealing with older devices seems impossibly hard, here’s what you can do in three easy steps. 

Step 1: Save your data 

I recommend saving these files to your current computer if you have the space. Seeing all your files in one place makes them more organized and searchable. If you are running short on computer space, an external hard drive will work as well.

You may find that your older devices no longer connect to your current computer. Adaptors and CD drives are available on Amazon and eBay. eBay is an excellent source for power cables to devices that have been discontinued. 

At this point, you may find that some of your devices no longer work, and you cannot save the data on them. A service like Drive Savers will assess your old computer or hard drive, and you will not be charged if they cannot recover your data.

Step 2: Erase the device

Before disposal, ensure that all personal information has been permanently erased from the device. To find out how to delete a device, click on the links below. You can do this yourself or enlist a technician to help you.

How to erase an iPhone

How to erase a Mac

How to erase a PC

How to erase an external hard drive

Step 3: Dispose of the computer responsibly

There are a few different options for disposing of an old computer. One option is to donate it to a charitable organization or school, which can use the computer for educational purposes. Alternatively, you can recycle the computer through your local certified e-waste recycler. If you would like to earn some extra money, you can sell your device through Apple’s Buy-Back program or eBay.

Now that you understand the risks of hanging onto old tech and how to dispose of it safely, you can finally free up some closet space! To help you get started, download my free checklist, and if you’d like extra help with this process, you can schedule a free consultation here.

Maria Mesick

Personal Photo Managment for creative professionals.

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