Wipe electronics to keep personal info safe
Posted February 17
People dropped off hundreds of desktops, laptops and other electronics at a recent e-cycle event in Morrisville, N.C.
Consumer Reports encourages computer owners to delete and wipe clean old electronics before donating, selling or recycling them.
"Everything from financial documents to photos – you want to make sure to delete all that information before you give it or sell it to anyone else,” said Rich Fisco of Consumer Reports.
Start with that old PC in a closet somewhere. The easiest option is to get a screwdriver, remove the hard drive and hold on to it.
Another option that Consumer Reports recommends is using a program called D-Ban, which can erase everything on a computer. It's easy to use and can be downloaded for free dban.org.
To wipe files from newer laptops, which usually have a built-in system, follow these steps:
- Go to the settings menu and choose “change PC settings.”
- Then pick "recovery" and click "remove everything and reinstall Windows"
- Finally, hit "Fully Clean My Drive."
- Start with settings and hit "general."
- Look for the "Reset" option, then "erase all content and settings."
- When the box pops up hit "erase."
Consumer Reports also suggests erasing data off of old phones and even gaming devices.
For more instructions on how to wipe a device, visit Consumer Reports online.