What To Do with Data When Recycling Electronics

Here is some advice about what to do with your data.

May 29, 2023

Before disposing of old electronics, it's essential to safely recycle sensitive data to protect your personal information. Sensitive data such as bank account numbers, credit card information, and personal documents can be stored on old electronics, and if not disposed of safely, can fall into the wrong hands. In this blog post, we will discuss how to safely recycle sensitive data from old electronics.

Back Up Important Data

Before recycling your old electronics, back up any important data such as documents, photos, and videos to an external hard drive or cloud storage. This ensures that you do not lose any essential data when wiping the device's storage. We are familiar with these technologies and can consult or help you with this process.

Factory Reset the Device

After backing up important data, perform a factory reset on the device. A factory reset wipes all personal data and restores the device to its original settings. Follow the device's user manual or search online for instructions on how to perform a factory reset for your specific device.

Securely Erase the Data

Even after performing a factory reset, data may still remain on the device. Therefore, it's essential to securely erase the data. There are several software programs available that can securely erase data from electronic devices. Some popular options include DBAN, CCleaner, and Eraser. These programs overwrite the device's storage with random data, making it impossible to recover any previous data.  1PC is NAID certified and can use a professional 7-layer Department of Defense Wipe to ensure your data is securely destroyed.

Physically Destroy the Device

If you have sensitive data that you cannot securely erase or if the device is too old or damaged, consider physically destroying the device. This involves using a hammer or drill to destroy the device's storage, making it impossible to retrieve any data.

Recycle the Device

After safely recycling the sensitive data, it's time to recycle the device. Find a local e-waste recycling facility that accepts electronic devices, and dispose of the device properly. Many e-waste recycling facilities will wipe and securely erase data as part of their recycling process. 1PC is a local electronics recycler and we can recycle your electronics for no charge.


When recycling you want to both ensure you have access to your data and others do not have access to your data. Become familiar with the process of backing up so you feel confident you will have access. And consult a professional if you have sensitive data and you need certification that this is done correctly. We are NAID certified and can securely wipe or shred your drives. We would be happy to help. We also offer free electronics recycling.

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