The next time you get a new computer, you may want to give your old one away. But what if the sensitive financial info on your hard drive winds up in the wrong hands?

Fortunately, my friend Kim Komando has some suggestions about ways to delete sensitive data forever from a traditional magnetic hard drive.

She loves Darik’s Boot and Nuke, which is a free erasure program for non-commercial use. And if you just want to erase sensitive data without erasing Windows or another operating system, Kim recommends Eraser for Windows or Permanent Eraser for Mac.

Finally, the best suggestion is the simplest. Take out the hard drive and destroy it! Kim notes that she once saw somebody use a 20-ton hydraulic press to get the job done, but a power drill, belt sander, or hammer will work just as well.

And remember, at a retailer like Best Buy, you can give them 2 pieces of e-waste a day and they will make sure what you give them gets recycled in an environmentally sensitive way.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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