Computers, laptops, and other electronics are becoming obsolete faster than most people can care to imagine. People are moving a lot of personal data into their computers and, as a result, criminals are now using any such data that is left on obsolete computers to steal our identities. You want to be very careful every time you are involved in a computer recycle program so you can avoid being a victim of identity theft. Contrary to popular belief, today’s cyber-savvy criminal doesn’t have to snatch your wallet for identity theft to take place; identity theft has now become so much easier because most people are not aware of the dangers associated with personal data being on their computers; this is why data destruction should be an important component of every computer upgrade program.
Simply deleting files from a computer doesn’t remove them from your computer’s hard drive where all the data is normally stored. Once you have deleted a file, even though you may not be able to access it in windows or on your desktop, the data will remain securely hidden on your hard drive. Such data will remain there until the computer needs to use that specific part of the hard drive to store new content and this can take many years or even a lifetime. You want to remind yourself that during the deleting process, your data remains intact on the hard drive and unless you have done hard drive shredding, someone who is knowledgeable can easily retrieve any file that was deleted years ago.
There are many of us who still believe that formatting the hard drive or having it wiped completely is the best way to completely eradicate all the data that is on the hard drive; nothing could be further from the truth. The main reason for this is that the system will be more interested in finishing the job fast so that you can get back to working other than ensuring that your files are eradicated 100%. In a generation where we have hard drives that have a capacity of up to 1TB or even more, you can rest assured that eradicating the amount of data that is held in there will not take just a few hours; this means therefore again that hard drive shredding and not hard drive formatting is the solution to protecting yourself and your clients from identity theft.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because your computer is no longer functional and you don’t turn it on or off you are not in danger of identity theft; all the data that you ever stored in the hard drive is still intact. The data stored in the hard drive may not be the same as what you have on the operating system of your computer. It is an open secret that there are many computer related issues that pertain to the hard drive other than the operating system, it doesn’t matter whether you can turn your computer or even start the operating system, cyber criminals know what to do in order to retrieve any such data; data destruction is the only way you can keep identity thieves at bay.