Some of the information on this page also applies to mobile phones, tablets and game consoles. For more details please visit the relevant pages on this website.
- The personal information stored in files on your computer can be accessed and used for criminal activity.
- Any passwords stored on your computer could give access to secure websites holding your personal and financial information.
- Any browsing history stored on your computer can be accessed.
- emails stored on your computer can be accessed.
- Disposing of your computer without having retrieved the information you may need in the future may cause inconvenience or disruption.
- Copy all of the data you will need in the future, on to your new PC or storage device, or back it up in the cloud.
- Fully erase the hard disk(s) so that any personal information is completely deleted. Simply deleting files is not enough to permanently erase them. Instead, use a dedicated file deletion program or service, or physically destroy the hard drive to render it unusable. Alternatively, if the hard drive is still serviceable and reliable, you could re-house it in an external case with power supply and USB connection and use it to back up or exchange your data.
- Ensure that any CDs or DVDs which contain your data are removed from the computer.
- Don’t forget that your CDs, DVDs, memory cards, USB sticks and other USB connected devices may also contain your sensitive data and should be disposed of with equal care.
- If the computer equipment is at the end of its life and you do not intend to sell it or give it away, take it to a proper disposal facility, which will ensure that is dismantled and the components recycled correctly and responsibly