If you use your personal computer for storage of financial, medical or other private records you must be certain to destroy all traces of that information before you sell or dispose of a no longer needed PC. Consider what would happen if a retail business owner who stored credit card information on his or her computer allowed that information to pass into the wrong hands. Hundreds of innocent clientele might be at risk to have their identities stolen or at the very least unauthorized charges made on their credit cards. Before you dispose of any use computer you must wipe clean any information stored on that computer’s hard drive. Merely deleting files on that drive will in no way remove the stored information.
Deleting files only tells your computer operating system that it is OK to put new information on those hard drive sectors. To erase files you must use software designed expressly for that purpose. These programs often called a file shredder or file eraser can quickly write a random pattern of nonsensical computer code onto your computer’s hard drive so as to effectively remove and erase all traces of previous data.