Tag Archive for: Digital Safety Series

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Disposing of Old Devices Safely

Whenever you get new devices like cell phones, tablets, or computers, you should consider how to dispose of your old ones. You shouldn’t just toss them in the garbage and start fresh with the latest model – they’re probably full of your photos, emails, banking information, and other important information!

Here are some tips on how you can safely get rid of your old devices and start enjoying the new ones – made even better on Pulse’s super-fast and reliable network.

Back It Up

The first step is to back up your information. Backing up your data regularly — even when you’re not getting rid of your device — is a good habit to get into. Whether it’s music you’ve downloaded, documents you’ve typed or pics you’ve snapped, backing up is a form of insurance in case your computer ever crashes or gets hacked.

When discarding an old device, think about what you want to keep. Some people back up everything and sort through it later, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’ve owned your device for a while, backing up every single file might be a lengthy endeavor. You might prefer to pick and choose what you save.

Either way, you have three options for backing up your device. Data migration is a techy-sounding term for when data gets moved from one location to another. In this case, we’re talking specifically about storage migration, when information is changing storage mediums.

Device to Device – Some devices, like desktop computers, will allow you to transfer data between devices. Using Migration Assistant for either Mac and Windows, you can even transfer between the two different systems – although the process can be a little tricky for the less tech-savvy.

External Storage – In this case, your external storage device will be the middleman. You start by transferring all your data to a separate device. Depending on how much data you have, your drive could be as small as a USB flash drive or as big as an external hard drive.

The Cloud – The cloud is the current favorite for data migration because it’s super easy and doesn’t require any extra hardware. This transfers all your data to the cloud via the internet. Once complete, your files can be accessed from any device. It’s fast, simple and secure, making it the optimal choice for data migration beginners.

Do a Final Cleanup

Before you toss your old device, be sure to log out of all your websites, wipe any saved passwords and unpair your devices. Finally, erase the computer’s hard drive. You’re washing your digital fingerprint from the device and protecting yourself in the process. Most computers and mobile devices can be restored to factory settings through built-in utilities.

Toss It Without Hurting the Environment

Because empty devices are filled with electronic components and substances like lead, mercury and cadmium, they’re hazardous material and shouldn’t go into a landfill. Take it to your local hazardous and electronic waste depot. If it still has some life in it, consider donating it to someone else who might enjoy it!

Here’s a list of the places that accept electronics for recycling in Larimer County, Colorado.

Now you’re set to enjoy your new gadgets! Don’t forget you’ll need great internet to get the most out of them. Keep browsing our website, or give us a call at 970-541-4990 to learn all about Pulse’s 100% fiber-optic network and sign up for internet, TV, and/or voice service today!


The tips above are a good start to protecting your privacy and online data. And by employing these and other safeguards, you can use the fast fiber internet from Pulse confidently, as well as reliably!

This article is part of our Digital Safety Series. Also in the series (we’ll add to the list as articles are published):

 

6 Ways to Secure Your Personal Online Data

Is your personal online data safe from the growing security threats that, regrettably, are a part of our online world today? It’s a question every internet user needs to ask themselves. Given the threats of phishing, ransomware, and other scams, it’s worth taking stock of your current online security and considering additional measures you can take to protect yourself. Below are several tips to help you and your family better secure your online data and navigate the online waters more safely.

Invest in Quality Anti-Virus Software

Antivirus software is an essential tool in your digital toolbox. It can help protect you and your family from threats that could steal your personal information, login credentials, and other sensitive data. Popular programs include McAfee Antivirus Plus, Norton Antivirus Plus, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, and Kapersky Antivirus.

Review and Activate the Privacy Settings on All Connected Devices

Most devices like computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones come equipped with security features and privacy settings designed to protect users from digitally sharing personal details, such as your name, email address, and location while browsing online. Though none of these settings are totally foolproof by themselves, they can be a helpful first line of defense against many common threats. Be sure to review the privacy settings on each device and choose the level of protection with which you are most comfortable.

Share Personal Information Carefully and Sparingly on Social Media

People naturally use social media to share details of their lives. From birthdays to anniversaries to new addresses, social media pages can be a treasure trove of personal information that can tip off hackers to passwords and security question answers. Think carefully about what information should and shouldn’t be shared—especially when filling out those seemingly innocuous “copy and paste” surveys. Talk to your family about posting wisely but not widely.

Check Privacy Settings on Other Apps You Use for Log-ins, Such as Your Facebook and Google Accounts

Let’s face it—when installing a new app or logging into certain e-commerce or other websites, it’s just easier and faster to login in with our Facebook or Google accounts, rather than reentering our personal details for the umpteenth time. But that means you need to be careful with the data and information Google and Facebook share with the other Apps. Be especially attentive to the “permissions” you grant Facebook and Google through their privacy settings, as they connect your accounts with these other Apps.

Install Adblockers and Tracker Blockers

Although some of the programs listed in our first tip about Antivirus Software include them already, if you do not have them, consider installing Adblockers and Tracker Blockers. Ads are annoying, but they can also “take” some information from your devices that you would rather not share with an ad you didn’t want to see popup in the first place. Similarly, Trackers can “follow you” around the internet as you leave a trail of your online activity. Adblockers and Tracker Blockers can often be installed directly onto your web browser, and help provide protections against privacy exposures from ads and trackers, as well as reduce your overall privacy risk.

Establish a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Finally, consider establishing a Virtual Private Network. Now, we know that sounds a bit technical, and maybe even scary. But VPNs can provide extra layers of protection and privacy on top of the other measures you’ve already taken above. A VPN moves your data through a “tunnel” to a separate, secure server first, and then encrypts your personal data before it “hits” the web, shielding and even hiding sensitive aspects of the data, such as your location, from potential threats. There are many VPN service providers, including NordVPN, ProtonVPN, CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, and SurfShark. Another option, TunnelBear, is a less edgy, more user-friendly option for first-time VPN users.


The tips above are a good start to protecting your privacy and online data. And by employing these and other safeguards, you can use the fast fiber internet from Pulse confidently, as well as reliably!

This article is part of our Digital Safety Series. Also in the series (we’ll add to the list as articles are published):