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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity

Dumping a Computer

If a computer is to be passed on to another user, perform the following steps.  This will help ensure a smooth transition.

  • Configure all programs to require a password or PIN every time it is accessed.

  • Delete or uninstall all programs with any personal information, including e-mail and financial programs.

  • Delete all files with personal information, including spreadsheets and documents.

  • Use a program to overwrite all deleted files so they cannot be recovered.

  • Format the hard drive.  This should be done after all of the preceding steps have been performed.

  • Format the hard drive again.   It cannot hurt.  In fact, the State of North Carolina requires their government agencies to format hard drives as many as 25 times prior to sending a computer to surplus.

  • For extra protection, install another operating system to overwrite data again.

  • With a bootable floppy disk, use the FDISK utility to render permanently any remaining information useless.

There are companies that specialize in reclaiming useful parts from discarded computers.  Some operations will make use of system components like memory (RAM) or processors (CPU) to build refurbished systems.  Others will melt down the main circuit boards to obtain the precious metals used in their construction for resale.

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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