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Donating Your Computer to Charity

Donating an old or unused computer is becoming a more common occurrence and there are a few considerations that should be made before doing so.

Consider how old the computer in question is. If it is less than five years old, it can probably be made useful to someone in need. Any computer that is older than five years will more than likely be outdated and of no use to its recipient.

Another aspect to consider is the personal data that is on the machine. Even if the hard drive is formatted, the information can still be obtained by an end user with some technical knowledge. The computer should be sent to a refurbisher to ensure that all of the data is completely wiped clean before you donate it. These companies and services use US Department of Defense grade cleaning software and techniques to ensure that information is not obtainable by the end user.

It is important that the donator contact the refurbisher or charitable organization before donating or servicing. These companies and organizations have standards to which they must adhere and even some newer computers may not be accepted. Remember to include all of the accessories for the unit being donated. This will include keyboards, the mouse and mouse pad, power cables, and any other necessary cords and cables.

If possible, keep the operating system intact to further help the recipient and the organization to which the computer is being donated. Be sure to include the original back up or start up disks for the system in question. This is required by most organizations to ensure the legality of the software being used as they will be responsible for any legality that may occur after the computer is given to its intended recipient.


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