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Technology

getting rid of old computer?

(18 Posts)
vicky108 Tue 29-Oct-19 14:03:38

Hi, can anyone advise me please. I am clearing out my father's house after his death. There is an old computer, Is it safe to let the house clearance people take it. He did have some banking details etc on it, but obviously all his accounts are now closed. Is there still a danger of anyone being able to use his information, and maybe identity fraud. And if that is possible what is the safe way to dispose of it? I am happy for it to be recycled in some way. Thanks.

vicky108 Tue 29-Oct-19 14:07:50

I googled how to do this, and there was a lot about deleting and wiping files. I would not be able to do that now, without having to move a very heavy machine to my own place, as all the wifi has been disconnected there, so wouldn't really be able to do that.

ninathenana Tue 29-Oct-19 14:20:58

We've removed the hard drive and smashed it to bits with both laptop and desktop computers.

Beckett Tue 29-Oct-19 14:29:54

Agree - remove the hard drive and destroy it (I was advised to drill holes in it).

vicky108 Tue 29-Oct-19 14:33:01

Thank you. Now I have to find the hard drive!

DoraMarr Tue 29-Oct-19 17:47:19

Or just reset to factory settings and donate to Age Concern.

vicky108 Tue 29-Oct-19 18:54:00

Thank you for that as well.

BlueBelle Tue 29-Oct-19 19:11:51

Oh I ve never destroyed one just delete info and give to a charity they are sought after for Africa and other charity’s
He will have no bank details that are relevant on there so why would you smash up when other could use it

vicky108 Tue 29-Oct-19 19:34:04

That sounds good, Yes, I would love to pass it on to a charity. I will look further into this.
Thank you,

grannyticktock Tue 29-Oct-19 22:50:49

Just deleting info isn't enough, you need to know how to wipe the hard drive. Otherwise there's a possibility of someone attempting identity theft or finding information about other people, etc.

My son in law is a computer security expert, and when I asked him how to dispose of my old PC, he took a hammer to the hard drive and then we took the whole lot to the recycling centre, where they can recover some of the metals etc.

I doubt whether an old PC would be much use in Africa etc anyway. It will be heavy to transport and clumsy and slow to use.

Alexa Tue 29-Oct-19 23:09:40

www.ecosia.org/images?q=picture+of+a+hard+drive+in+a+computer

If you take a big hammer to it you'd better wear safety goggles.

fizzers Wed 30-Oct-19 10:54:45

yup I go with remove the hard drive and smash with a hammer

jusnoneed Wed 30-Oct-19 11:14:47

My bro in law who does a lot of computer repairs etc said you must destroy the hard drive when disposing of old ones.
If you want to give the machine to someone they can always buy a new hard drive, if it's worth keeping.

ninathenana Wed 30-Oct-19 13:14:07

The ones I destroyed were not working

Bathsheba Wed 30-Oct-19 13:20:31

Definitely destroy the hard drive, smash it to bits, drill holes in it, whatever you can do. Deleting files, factory reset etc is not enough. There will still be traces of data there for a tech savvy criminal to find. Not worth the risk.

OK, so his bank accounts etc are closed, but you have no idea how much personal information may be on there - there could even be access to emails etc, with other people's personal info and so on. By leaving it, your father's personal identity could be stolen, which could then potentially facilitate criminal activity.

vicky108 Wed 30-Oct-19 21:01:38

Thank you everyone for all the very helpful information.

grannyticktock Thu 31-Oct-19 20:15:38

My clearout is continuing. I advertised three items lying around in the garage on Facebook Marketplace and have already sold one for £10. I have hopes that someone will take the old cot mattress (free) as a dog bed, so I won't have to take it to the tip.

grannyticktock Thu 31-Oct-19 20:16:31

Sorry, wrong thread! This should have gone on the decluttering thread.