We’ve all done it. Buy a new phone, throw the old one in a drawer. Repeat this every couple of years until that one phone has multiplied into 3 phones, 2 computers, 3 hard drives and a binder full of CDs.
Why? Because the uncertainty of what to do with these devices paired with the distraction of your shiny new phone is the perfect recipe for procrastination.
What if that old phone contains valuable data you need to keep? You’ll check..once you find the charger.
What if some nefarious stranger gets ahold of your old computer? How can you be sure you’ve deleted all your private data?
And how the heck do you responsibly dispose of an old computer anyways?
Answering these questions requires a more work than most people have the time and energy for. Especially when it’s perfectly safe to hold on to old tech, right? Well, not entirely, Here are the unexpected risks of holding onto old tech.
Risk # 1 Data Loss
Over time, components in your computer, phone, and hard drive wear out and become less reliable resulting in the loss of photos and data. Similarly, CDs and DVDs are not immune to wear and tear. Over time, the reflective layer degrades, causing that disk to become unreadable. What this means is, when you next attempt to fire up that old MacBook it may not work anymore. And data recovery costs thousands of dollars and success is not guaranteed.
Risk # 2 You can’t connect to your older devices
Technology advances rapidly, and how we connect to our computers changes. Take the USB, for example; now, I need an adaptor if I want to connect my computer to a device with an old USB. Then there is the long-gone built-in CD drive. Now an external reader is required to access your CDs and DVDs. What this means is that the next time you go to plug in that old, pre-usb hard drive you’ll likely discover it does’nt connect to your computer anymore.
Risk #3 Batteries don’t last forever
The batteries in your old phones and computers can pose a risk as they can become unstable over time. A damaged battery can potentially ignite or explode. It is important to store these batteries in a cool, dry place and to keep them away from metal objects that could short-circuit the battery. It is also a good idea to store the battery at a partial charge rather than fully discharged or fully charged. If you are storing these on a computer or phone for an extended period, it is a good idea to check on them periodically to ensure it is still in good condition. I once found an old iPhone swelling so much from the battery that I didnt dare try to power it on. So much for finding those photos!
Risk #4 Missing power cables.
If you’re like me, you misplace your phone charger all the time. I swear mine has legs! So can you imagine how hard it is to keep track of a charger you haven’t used for years?! The ods are, when you finally get around to connecting to that old Mac its power cable will be long gone. How do you access photos from a dead Mac? You don’t.
So now that you see the risks of postponing the disposal of your old tech what do you do about it? Don’t worry, I’ve got ya. Check out my blog post on How to safely get rid of an old computer and protect your private data.