Selling a personal or business laptop is a little different to selling many other items. Most importantly, regardless of how much you may receive once you sell a laptop, you must protect the personal data which may have been stored on your laptop’s hard drive first, or selling your laptop could cost you money in the long run.
The Recycling Bin is not safe!
Many people believe a file or piece of data is deleted forever once they click delete or recycle it from the Windows recycling bin. They may then mistakenly believe that they can safely sell their laptop privately with little danger of their personal information being recovered. In fact, the method used by Windows (and all other operating systems) to “erase” data doesn’t really erase it at all. All that happens is that operating system becomes unable to recall all the places on the laptop’s hard drive where a particular piece of data is stored, it can then therefore no longer return the data and will in time overwrite the old data with new data. However, using specialist, but easily available, software it is possible to find all the pieces of deleted data and to reconstruct the original information; be it a photo, bank statement or medical record.
So how can I safely Sell My Laptop?
In order to prevent nefarious individuals reconstructing your most personal data after you sell your laptop, it is necessary to overwrite the old data with random new data. This can be achieved in many ways but most easily by using a free piece of software call “Freeraser”.
Simply install Freeraser on the laptop your wish to sell and then use it just like the Windows recycling bin. Place any personal files or folders (photos, documents, downloads etc.) in to the Freeraser bin and the program will completely erase the data and overwrite your laptop’s hard drive with random new information.
If you’d rather a professional take care of your data erasing, look out for laptop recycling companies that include complete data wiping as part of their service (like us); and ask for further details if the information is not clear. The best companies will completely erase the entire hard drive and will be happy to provide a certificate to prove this has taken place.
If you would like further information on safely selling your laptop or if you simply have a question about our services we are more than happy to help; contact us on 0845 557 5900 or fill in our enquiries form and we will aim to reply within 24 hours.