How do you delete your personal information from an old computer or an old hard drive to make sure it does not fall into the wrong hands? Simply deleting files from the computer or reformatting the hard drive is not enough. Data recovery is proof that deleted files can be recovered even when they are deleted or when the hard drive is accidentally formatted. So before you give away that old computer, or throw away old hard drives you will want to make sure that your personal information is securely removed from the hard drive.
Unless you are computer savvy, I would recommend that you take your computer to your local computer repair expert to have them securely erase the files for a very small fee. Those who are computer savvy secure utilities like DBAN to wipe the hard drive clean. But, before wiping the hard drive, I would recommend that you make sure all the vital information you might need later is securely backed up because there is no going back.
Some people may choose to take a sledge hammer to their old hard drive. If you choose to go that route make sure that you are wearing protective gear for your eyes incase sharp pieces of metal come flying towards you.
To recap, the moral of the story is this: Deleting files from the computer or reformatting the hard drive is not a secure way of wiping a hard drive. Deleted files can be easily recovered, so for the sake of your personal security and peace of mind, only use methods that have been known to securely erase files from the hard drive like DBAN. When in doubt, visit your local computer repair expert to make sure your files are securely erased. The damage that can be done by identity theft can be very hard to cleanup, but it can all be prevented by being proactive in having your personal information securely disposed of.