Laptops have become a popular item for local pawnshops in recent times. Exotic brands such as Alienware and high-end models such as iMacs are especially popular in many shops. The demand for such items is almost always high. This assures the owner of the pawnshop that they'll be able to recover their money (and then some) from selling the laptop in case you're unable to pay back the loan.
When you're strapped for cash and decide to pawn your laptop, it's important that you take certain steps to protect your information first.
Back Up Your Data
Despite your best efforts, you can't guarantee that your laptop will leave the pawnshop in the same condition as when you brought it in. Accidents can happen, and even if you're compensated financially, you may lose valuable data in the process. If the information on your computer is very critical, ensure that it's backed up before you hand over your computer to the pawnshop.
There are many different types of media that you can use to back up valuable information, and there are also cloud backup solutions available. Some of these must be paid for, but others are free.
Format the Computer if There's a Chance of Defaulting
Obviously, if you're pawning a laptop rather than selling it outright to the pawnshop, you'll still want the laptop back at some point. However, you also have to consider the possibility of not being able to make the payment. If there is any such possibility, you should probably format the computer after backing up the information.
Computers contain a lot of sensitive and private information, from passwords to various accounts to personal photos and videos. In many pawnshops, the general practice is to format laptops before reselling them in case somebody defaults on a payment. However, there are no guarantees that the computer will be properly formatted. Therefore, you may be better off doing this on your own.
De-authorize DRM Purchases
Software such as iTunes allows you to make purchases, which can then be downloaded onto different devices. In case your computer was one of the devices that were authorized to download these purchases, ensure that it is de-authorized before you pawn it. An authorized device can offer someone else too much insight into who you are. It may also allow someone to get their hands on sensitive information. Luckily, iTunes provides an easy way of de-authorizing various devices.
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