How to Dispose of your Computer

You have probably heard of hackers who access computer systems to steal secrets or other personal information. Your computer hard drive saves everything, even after you hit the “delete” key.
Information like bank accounts, statements, other financial information, browsing history, can be accessed by hackers, presenting a threat to your personal /work information.
What happens when you hit the “Delete” key?
A computer stores data, and maintains an index of files. When you save a file, it is scattered around the drive in bits and pieces. Similarly when you open the file again, the computer gathers these links again to reconstruct the file.
When you delete a file, the links between the index and the file disappear, letting your computer know that is it available to receive new data. But the bits and pieces of the deleted file stay on your computer, and they can be retrieved with a data recovery program. In fact, there are known software that anyone with basic computer skills can use to retrieve this information.
There are 2 ways to remove data from your hard drive permanently: 1) Remove the data permanently through software; 2) physically destroy it.
Clearing your Hard Drive
Before you do this, save the files that are important to you on an external storage device. For instance, use: a portable hard drive. Eg: I use is the Western Digital Passport 1tb []. Or use a CD Rom; USB drive; or transfer the data to a new computer.
1) Clearing your Hard Drive using Software
Utility programs to wipe your harddrive are available both online and in stores. These utilities actually overwrite the entire hard disk with a pattern of characters, making the previous data unrecoverable.
Some of these software are available for free online. However, choose the program that gives allows you to overwrite the harddisk several times over. This is known to be the best available to satisfactorily clear it.
2) Physically Destroy your Hard drive
If you know where the hard-drive is, physically remove it and then destroy it. As the physical location of the hard drive for computers and laptops differ, it is best to contact a computer support staff with the specific model/brand of the computer to locate it.
Generally, is held under the CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive. However it varies in Laptops. Normally it is held on the base of the laptop under the keyboard and towards the back.
There are several ways to physically destroy a hard-drive, starting with the easiest:
a) With a hammer and a pair of clippers/scissors – Open the covering on the computer and smash all the pieces into little bits. Then clip the chip board to tiny pieces.
b) Drill holes into the hard-drive and smash the remaining piece; or grind the remaining pieces down.
c) Find a computer hardware store that has magnetic equipment to scramble the data on the drive.