Computer Support for Northumberland
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Read All About IT! Mar 2020

Posted on: 2nd March, 2020

Welcome to Read All About IT!, the newsletter from Northumberland Computer Support.

This informative bulletin will be published monthly, (or less), with the aim of keeping you up to date with the world of computers.

You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time that you wish, but I hope that you enjoy reading it, and that you forward a copy to your friends.

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How to dispose of an old PC

So you’ve just bought your shiny new computer and you’re amazed at just how fast they are these days? And you’ve managed to get all of your data and software transferred across, so that you no longer need the old PC? (You could ask us to do the transfer for you, to be sure the new computer is as efficient as it can be and that you don’t miss vital bits of data.)

But, what to do with the old machine? Let it stand in the corner, gathering dust? Or throw it away at the tip?

New computer, Northumberland

Keeping the old PC for a month or so is a good idea, until you are sure that there really is no important stuff left on it. But don’t just throw it out with the rubbish, or take it to the tip. The hard drive will still retain all of the data, which may include bank details, photos of the kids, etc.

This is still the case even if you have deleted all of the data and emptied the Recycle Bin.

Deleting data on a Windows PC doesn’t actually delete it at all. It simply marks that section of the hard drive as available for use. Only once new data has been created, that happens to use that available space, will the old data be inaccessible. “Formatting” the drive doesn’t destroy the old data either and software is available to recover from such actions.

The fastest way to ensure the hard drive is no longer able to be read by some miscreant is to remove it from the machine and hit it with a very large hammer until you’re bored, or it breaks into several pieces.

Alternatively, we do offer a service to remove the machine from your premises and we wipe the hard drive with military grade data destruction software. Call us if you would like more info.

Google to move data storage to USA

We are currently in the process of leaving the EU and some odd things will be thrown up by the move. One of which is that Google, (and, undoubtedly, other major players), will soon be transferring the storage of any data from the EU to the USA.

If you have a Google account, use Google Drive, Google Suite, YouTube, a Gmail email account, etc, they will be migrating your data from Ireland, (an EU Member State), to the USA.

Last week Google announced that “because the UK is leaving the EU, we’ve updated our terms so that a United States-based company, Google LLC, is now your service provider instead of Google Ireland Limited. We’ve also changed our Privacy Policy to make Google LLC the data controller responsible for your information and for complying with applicable privacy laws.” See

Google is moving to USA

Google will have asked us all to sign up to agree to these new rules. But, whoever reads the Ts & Cs? Although they do say that they will continue to abide by GDPR regulations, (an EU initiative to strengthen data controls), there is nothing to prevent them bringing out new policies once we have fully left the EU. And US data laws are much less stringent that those of the EU.

Microsoft offer One Drive cloud storage, through Office 365. Their own Privacy Statement makes it very clear that they are extremely vague about where such data may be stored. It could be the UK, the USA – or “other countries, some of which have not yet been determined by the European Commission to have an adequate level of data protection.” See

Why don’t they just leave our data either in the UK or the EU? Because it would prove expensive to build huge storage facilities just for the UK. And they are likely to be fearful of the jurisdiction of the EU courts, with several cases over the past few years seeing Google and the EU locking horns.

Expect less clarity in the coming months!

Northumberland Computer Support offers computer support to Northumberland.

We offer a better level of computer support to businesses, schools, charities and home users throughout the county.
We don’t tell you what the problem is. We just give you the solution.

Call us today on 01670 432 324

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