There always comes a time when you need to get rid of your laptop and buy a new one. Your current laptop might be too old and slow, with a battery that gets rapidly depleted whenever the device is unplugged. You might come across a better one for sale, one with better functionality that is easier to use. For example, your current device might only come with a touchpad, and you might spot a touch screen alternative that will suit you far better.
However, before you make any decisions about purchasing a new laptop, you must ensure that the data on your current device is protected. You don’t want to lose any important information that might be stored on that laptop, nor do you want your data to be accessible to hackers. This is why you need to take several steps to keep your existing information safe.
Move your data
The first thing you should do before disposing of your laptop is move whatever data you have and still need or want to a new device or cloud application. First consider exactly what data you want to keep, from photos and videos to important documents. Also think about the amount of storage space you will require. Once you have properly made these considerations then you can choose one or more of the following options:
Use an external storage device
An external device is your best bet when it comes to easily transferring data. If it’s merely a bunch of documents you need transferred then use a handy USB flash drive or two. If the data you have is bigger, then make use of an external hard drive, which will have greater storage capacity.
Transfer files to a new laptop
You might already have purchased the ideal replacement for your existing laptop, in which case you can use a flash drive or an external hard drive to transfer your data from your current device to your new one. This is actually ideal for two reasons. Firstly, when logging on to your new laptop you’ll instantly be able to access your important files. Secondly, you can keep copies of those files saved on your external devices in case of an emergency.
Upload files to the cloud
If you have easy access to a stable internet connection, then there are various cloud applications you can use to store, manage and update your valuable data. These applications include Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. Just remember, however, to keep your connection secure against cyberthreats and create a strong password for your cloud application of choice.
Don’t merely delete files before disposing of your laptop, as there are programs that can recover them. When a file is emptied from the recycle bin the laptop can no longer see that file but it will still be in the hard drive. Data recovery software can enable the laptop to see the file again. The danger lies in the fact that cybercriminals can harness that software to access deleted files. This is why you need to erase your laptop’s hard drive. Find a software program that will effectively wipe your hard drive of all its data.
When the time comes to say goodbye to a laptop make sure you’ve taken the right steps to keep your data protected. First save all your wanted information on another device, be it a new laptop, an external hard drive or a flash drive, or on a cloud application. Then make sure your current laptop’s hard drive is wiped clean in order to prevent hackers from accessing deleted files. All that’s left for you to do afterwards is recycle your laptop or perhaps donate it if it still can be used.