You get the blue screen of death after one too many failed attempts at startup, and you know it is time to move on; your old PC has kicked the bucket and it's high time for a replacement. Before you go out and get your new PC, you are left to get rid of the old one you have, and far too many people make a big mistake at this point: they toss their old computer in the trash and never look back. Unfortunately, this is a huge mistake. Even though you see your PC as dead, someone with ill intent could see an opportunity to steal all your information from your hard drive.
Someone could get access to all your saved images.
Think about all those images you had on your old PC. If you are like most people, you use your computer to store photos from your phone, tablet, camera memory cards, Facebook, and all kinds of other devices and social media. Those images are still there on your hard drive, which means someone with enough skill could collect your computer from the trash, do a little finagling, and gain access to all of your private photos.
Someone could get access to all of your saved documents.
You probably used your PC to save copies of your bills, store copies of important digital receipts, and even to file your taxes. These documents could have everything on them from your social security number to your credit card information and home address. Those files may seem like they are dead and buried when the computer dies, but they can be brought back to life if your old hard drive lands in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing.
Someone could get access to all of your search history.
People use their computers for all kinds of private matters that they don't necessarily want the world to know about. Even if you delete your search history or use private browsing tabs for internet searches, your computer's hard drive still captures bits of trace data that can be retrieved later on. This is how the FBI manages to track down evidence on people who have committed crimes in which their computer was part of the crime.
The bottom line is this: your old PC is still something that holds a lot of private information. If you have a PC you no longer use, make sure you take it to a PC recycling center so your private data is properly destroyed. You can contact companies like Ranch Town Recycling Center Inc. for more information.