Tips for recycling, selling or reusing old technology

Tips for recycling, selling or reusing old technology

How to prepare old technology for sale or recycling by removing personal data

Do you have old office equipment or mobile technology piling up? You are not alone. Technological advances are on a steep curve, which means old or obsolete technology continues to make its way into office storage.

Once you are done with a device or piece of equipment, do not let it gather dust; plan to sell it, reuse it or recycle it.

First, you will want to make sure you have backed up any files you would like to keep. If you have a device that contains personal or financial information, you will need to make sure you erase your personal data.

Related: Backup Solutions for your Farm Office

Here are some tips how to remove personal information from old computers or cell phones:

Clean out old technology by preparing it for sale, recycling or reuse.

• Use DBAN—a free software designed to delete the contents of your computer's hard disk. If you wish to resell your computer after you use this software, you will need to install a fresh copy of the operating system so make sure you have an installation disk before you proceed.

• On smartphones or tablets, there are default options to reset your device erase your personal data in the settings of your smartphone or tablet's operating system.

For Android, if you do not have the latest version, which allows for automatic encryption, you will want to go into Security in your Settings to enable encryption. Then you can go to Settings, then Personal and then Backup & Reset to select Factory data reset.

For Apple, go to Settings, then General and then select Erase All Content and Settings from the Reset menu.

For Windows mobile devices, go to Settings, then About and then Reset Menu.

Now that you are prepared to let go of your old technology, where do you take it? You have several options:

• Sell it. Craigslist is very popular option for selling your old tech devices and yields many person-to-person sales every day. eBay is another option that allows for virtual person-to-person sales. Swappa is a service specific to smartphones and tablets that allows users to post their devices for sale. Amazon offers electronics trade-in for your gently used devices.

• Reuse it. Did you know that iPhones still hold all of their functionality even if you do not have cellular service? There are applications that allow you to repurpose your old device. For example, Presence is an application that turns your old iPhone into a security camera accessible from your new device!

Related: Is smartphone insurance necessary?

• Recycle it. Check with your local environmental management agency for local recycling resources. Major companies also have recycling programs open to the public such as Apple and Best Buy. In fact, if the device you recycle with Apple has value, Apple will give you a gift card for their products.

Have you sold, reused or recycled an old technology device? Tell me about your experience in the comments below, on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at [email protected].

The opinions of Jessica Michael are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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