Best Practices for Disposing of Old Computers

Best Practices for Disposing of Old Computers

Newer and faster laptops, phones and tablets are being released every day it seems, but what are
we supposed to do with the outdated devices we no longer want to use? The security of proprietary
and personal information and environmental issues are the primary concerns when disposing of
unwanted computers. Here are some guidelines we recommend when phasing out computers from
your business or home.

Deleting a File Does Not Actually Erase Information

When you delete a file from the hard drive, the operating system only deletes the information that
describes where the file is located. Simply deleting files, emptying the recycle bin or reformatting the
hard drive is not enough to cover your digital tracks. In addition to documents, photos, videos, and
private information that is accessible on your computer; there is also your Internet browser’s cache,
cookies and history; email contacts and messages; and the recycle or trash folder.

Don’t take a chance with the security of your business and personal information. A Computer
Troubleshooters technician can complete any of the following strategies when trying to secure your
personal information on an old device.

The most cost-effective and commonly used strategy is the use of a software utility that overwrites the
hard drive with random characters and binary data anywhere from three to more than 30 times. These
utilities are typically referred to as data destruction software, hard drive eraser software or disk wipe
software.

Another effective but more costly solution is degaussing. This is the erasure of information through the
use of a powerful magnet. Degaussing disrupts the magnetic domains on the drive, which erases your
data while also rendering the drive permanently unusable.

The physical destruction of a hard drive is the only way to absolutely and forever ensure that the data
is no longer available. There are contractors who will perform this task on site, using the appropriate
tools and safety precautions. We do not recommend this type of hard drive destruction by consumers.

Donate or Recycle Your Old Computer

Extending the computer’s lifespan through re-use provides the highest environmental benefit.
There are many donation programs that bridge the digital divide by providing schools, non-profit
organizations, military personnel, low-income families and students with needed technology.

When you donate or recycle an unwanted computer, there are a lot of details you will need to be
concerned with such as; maintaining the security of information that was stored on the computer,
locating local technology recyclers and refurbishers, and tax guidelines for charitable donations. Don’t
feel overwhelmed by all of these details. Let your local Computer Troubleshooters take on the burden.
One of our professional technicians will be happy to explore the various options available to you when
deciding how best to dispose of an unwanted computer. Here are some considerations when donating
or recycling a computer:

  • If your computer is less than five years old chances are it can be put to good use. Most organizations have specific technology needs, so inquire in advance regarding donation guidelines.
  • Most charitable contributions are tax deductible and computers are no exception. Business donors can generally deduct the un-depreciated value of the computer and individuals can deduct the current market value of a computer. Remember to retain your receipt for tax records.
  • Consider donating your unwanted computer to a refurbisher who is equipped to repair and upgrade older computers. Certified refurbishers ensure that equipment works well and will pass on ready-to-use equipment at little or no cost to individuals and organizations. It is recommended that you remove your hard drive from any system that you donate to a refurbisher to ensure the security of your data.
  • Even if a computer cannot be reused or refurbished there are reputable technology recyclers that can ensure valuable raw materials are recovered from old computers and that any waste is disposed of in an environmentally-safe and responsible manner.
  • Let your local Computer Troubleshooters do all the work for you. Our technicians are trained experts in making sure your personal information is secure and responsibly disposing of unwanted devices.

Click here to contact your own Computer Troubleshooters technician.

Data Backup and Data Recovery

It’s a call no one wants to make to their IT service provider. You’ve turned on your computer, and nothing happens. Undoubtedly, the voice on the other end of the line asks if you backed up your data. That’s when panic sets in.

No matter what got you into this situation, whether it’s a disaster that struck your office, a computer reaching the end of its lifespan, or an accident involving your computer, having a consistent backup plan in place is your only protection against the loss of one of your businesses most important assets – your customer records and transaction data.

 In fact, research shows that almost half (43%) of all businesses that suffer a catastrophic data loss will never reopen. Even more will be out of business within a year.

So what can you do to ensure your data’s safety?

Computer Troubleshooters offers a full line of data backup solutions for small and medium businesses that range from simple onsite backup procedures to fully automated online backup solutions No matter what your office and data needs are, we have a solution that fits you and your budget.

Some companies want a backup for the backup, especially in the cases of extreme disaster or power failure. For these clients, an onsite data server can be used along with an automated online solution to allow for maximum protection and the fastest recovery time possible if your office suffers a major catastrophe, which is incredibly important for companies who are dependent on data to operate.

If you have quality backup measures in place, then data recovery will generally be a quick and painless process and you should be up and running in no time. If you do not have a backup plan for your office, then recovering your data becomes a much more complicated process.

It is significantly more expensive to attempt to recover data, especially if there is a lot of physical damage to the hardware, than it is to have your data available in a safe location that simply needs to be retrieved. Also, there is no guarantee that the data will be found, or that what is retrieved will be accessible. Computer Troubleshooters does provide data recovery services, but would always recommend that all of their clients invest in a quality backup solution.

Protect your company by protecting your data today. Talk to your local Computer Troubleshooter about the best protection mechanisms for your data, or about any of your technology needs … before it’s too late!

MyCloudStore: The one place for your online business solutions

We are proud to announce a new partnership with MyCloudStore.

MyCloudStore is the one stop shop to provide small to medium sized New Zealand businesses with the tools they need to become productive, efficient, and easy to manage. There is no software to download or data to backup and your business software is available anywhere, anytime, via the internet.

The solutions that are currently available on MyCloudStore.co.nz are:

  • Xero Accounting
  • Unleashed Inventory Management
  • SMX Mail Security
  • SmartPayroll
  • WorkflowMax Project management
  • iBus Data Backup
  • Vend Point of Sale
  • SalesForce CRM
  • AirWatch Mobile Device Management
  • Microsoft Office 365 – Coming Soon

We are happy to assist you with getting started with any applications on the store. We can make sure that you have the resources needed to begin using the applications, show you a demonstration of the products provided, and provide you with quotes for any products that you may be interested in. Feel free to give us a call or send us an email if you have any enquiries about the applications on the MyCloudStore.co.nz website.

Tips To Keep Your Computer Safe

Below are a list of tips on how to keep your computer safe.

  1. Use Your Common Sense
    Make sure that you are downloading software and files from trusted website instead of any website. Remember NOT to open email or attachment that doesn’t look right to you, especially the funny link in the email.
  2. Use A Safe Web Browser
    After all, prevention is better than cure. Research shows that Internet explorer is more prone and vulnerable to attacks from hackers than any other web browser. Try using Firefox or Google Chrome.
  3. Use A Good Internet Security Program
    Try ESET Smart Security or AVG Internet Security as they are more safe and don’t slow your computer down. Do a virus scan on the files you downloaded from the Internet before you open or run it. Always scan your computer once a week and make sure your anti-virus is up to date. Contact us to find out the cost of the Anti-Virus programmes.
  4. Keep Your Computer Up-To-Date withPatches
    Enable your computer to be automatic updated or pay an IT Professional like Computer Troubleshooter to managing your computer. Contact us for more details.

Just in Case. . .

In case a virus finds its way to your computer, due to carelessness, an accident, or anti-virus software that hasn’t been updated since you got it for your birthday last year, at least be prepared. Backup your computer Hard Drive or important files regularly. If you don’t know how, contact us for a solution.

Things you should know whenever using your Computer

Computers have become an indispensable part of our lives. You need to use it for work, studies and even shopping over the web. There are few things though that you will do well to know so as to ensure that your experience of working on a computer remains a pleasant one without the hassles that can throw your work off schedule and require you to spend on computer repairs. Some precautions can make it a smooth sail for you. Let’s look at a few points to remember for the purpose.

Read the full article at ComputerRepairBolg.Com.

For local computer repair & services, please contact us on 03 423 9011.