||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity
Dumping a Computer
Nearly every form of consumer electronics on
the market today has become disposable. It is doubtful that there
are any new DVD repair shops in the neighborhood. The rapid pace of
technological advancement has made the lifespan of many new products
shorter than one could have imagined just a brief time ago, and
computers are no exception.
A study by Carnegie Mellon University puts the
number of computers that will be in landfills by 2005 at 150
million. According to a recent study by the National Safety
Council, more than 63 million personal computers will likely be
retired in 2005.
Some of these retired machines will end up in
the storage sheds of well-intentioned techies, who plan on fixing
them up one day or using them for parts. Others may be donated to
charitable organizations that can still make use of older equipment.
In some areas like California and
Massachusetts, disposing of computer equipment in the garbage is
illegal and can subject a person to fines.
However a person chooses to retire their
machine, it is vital to ensure that all sensitive data has been
completely removed. Even if equipment is destined for the landfill,
provided that is a legal method for disposal, precautions must be
taken. The information contained on the hard drive of most
computers is a gold mine for anyone who knows how to retrieve it. A
machine used for on-line banking, or to conduct e-commerce will be
loaded with sensitive data. It is not necessary for a computer to
be operational in order to uncover information. Any moderately
tech-savvy crook can remove the hard drive from a discarded machine
and get access to everything on it. Before throwing away an old
computer, remove the hard drive and destroy it. This is the only
way to ensure the hard drive is never read again.
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