If you’re moving to a new computer, you can sell or donate the old computer since you will no longer be using it. However, you cannot just give away your computer to a stranger as it contains your important data, such as personal pictures, confidential documents, etc. So, before selling or donating your old computer, you need to do some preparations to protect your personal or confidential information.
In this guide, we will be discussing the steps to prepare your computer before you sell or donate it.
Step 1: Backup your Data
Since you are giving away your computer, the first step would be to back up all the data. This data can later be transferred to your new computer.
Why is backup important?
- Work Continuity – Data backup ensures work continuity as all the necessary data and settings can be imported into your new laptop. You do not need to reorganize your files or folders.
- Data Protection – All the necessary data that you possess is stored safely in a secure device. You can then remove the data from your old device.
There are multiple storage options to take data backup. You can take data backup on external storage devices or on the cloud.
Backup on External Devices
You can attach a storage device, such as USB or external hard drive, to the old computer and copy your important files manually. However, a better way is to use the in-built backup feature offered by different Operating Systems. For instance, Windows 10 offers Backup Feature in the Update & Security section, whereas macOS offers Time Machine feature.
Backup on Cloud
You can also opt for cloud backup services to backup your data. Various third-party cloud services providers offer Backup as a Service (BaaS). You can keep all your data on their cloud server.
With your data on the cloud, you can access it from anywhere at any time by logging in to your cloud portal. Also, storing backup on the cloud makes your backup hardware independent.
Step 2: Wipe Your Data
Once you have taken the data backup successfully, it is time to remove all the files from your old computer. However, most people think that formatting the hard disk or deleting the files removes data from the system. However, it’s not the case.
When you delete a file/folder from the system, only the pointer to its address is deleted. The data stays in the system unless it is overwritten by new data. Deleting a file/ folder from the old computer can be easily recovered using a good data recovery software available in the market.
To permanently remove data from your old computer before selling or donating, you can choose the data eraser software.
Why wiping data is important?
If you put up your old computer on open sale, you need to ensure that there are no traces of data left on your old computer. Otherwise, the person who receives your old computer can get access to it. If the person has some malicious intent, you could be in big trouble as the data can be used for identity theft, scam, or financial fraud. Data wiping ensures complete erasure of data from your computer, beyond the scope of recovery.
Use BitRaser for a Secure Data Wiping Process
You can use BitRaser Drive Eraser Software, a DIY tool, for all your data wiping needs. It is tested and approved by NIST for its data wiping efficacy on diverse storage devices. The tool is easy to install and offers a user-friendly interface. You can wipe complete data from hard drive without any chance of it ever being recovered.
Once you have decided to sell or donate your old computer, don’t just give it away. The first step before giving away your old computer is taking the data backup. The backup can be taken on an external storage device or the cloud.
After taking the backup, wipe all the data from your old computer using a data wiping software. The software wipes the entire data from your computer, so the person who receives your old computer does not access it.