Computer recycling nowadays is easy to do and very commonplace as computers can be easily refurbished to provide 3rd world countries with older yet functioning models of computers. Disposing of computers properly is extremely important because if you sell your computer or give it away then the person who receives it has unlimited access to all your personal information that was stored on it. If you leave your computer in the street for anyone to take away, then they would be able to access this private information as well.
In a day and age where it is easy to steal someone’s identity with such a small amount of information, and companies are reaping the benefits of “ID Theft Prevention” plans, it is sad to think that a smart adult would forget how much personal information they’ve got stored on their computer. Every time you enter and save a small piece of personal information into a computer, it remains in the hard drive and usually takes a computer expert to wipe your computer clean of all the tiny bits of your personal information. Any time you save a password or send an e-mail, that information remains no matter how many times you clean the “cookies” and free up some memory.
Any time you order something over the internet using a credit card number, that number gets sent to the company and is usually stored in their memory so that the next time you visit their website, shopping and paying is quicker and easier. As many as 9 million Americans have their identity stolen every year, but sadly, most of these victims are cautious consumers who happen to be targeted because of one little mistake. Disposing of your computer the wrong way could be the one little mistake that your creepy neighbor is waiting on in order for them to gain access to an abundance of your personal information.
With your personal information at the tip of their fingers, identity thieves can easily commit fraud by opening up new credit cards under your name and billing address, using your social security number to obtain illegal employment, get a loan or mortgage under your name, or even just an ID card with your name and their picture. There are no limits to what an identity thief can do with your personal information, and their reach stretches further if they have access to your e-mail accounts and internet pay systems.
The best way to protect yourself against identity theft is obviously to be a conscious consumer when it comes to using your credit cards, watch your credit history and make sure that details such as billing statements coincide with your personal records. It’s important to watch what and where you spend your money, and to make sure it’s only you doing the spending with your accounts.
It’s okay to save personal information on your computer, as long as your computer remains in your hands. Once you are done with a computer either because it’s old or broken or you’re ready for an upgrade, there is only one safe way to dispose or recycle your old computer. In order to insure safety of your personal data and comply with environmental standards for computer disposal, your computer must be sent to a computer disposal or recycling company. Businesses such as those will properly dismantle a non-useable computer or will remove all your personal information so that the computer is ready to be refurbished. Either way, years worth of your personal information that you entered into your computer will be properly wiped away and the theft of your identity via your trashed computer will no longer be a concern.