10 Things to Do Before You Wipe Your Computer

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Author's Note: 10 Things to Do Before You Wipe Your Computer

I've owned a lot of computers over the years, and naturally, like anyone else, I'm concerned about protecting my personal data from falling into the wrong hands. For a long time I've used add-on security programs to encrypt and password-protect sensitive files, which gives me a layer of protection even if I lose a laptop or have one stolen. I've never sold one of my old PCs to a stranger. Instead, I usually keep them around as backups, or else give them to my son or my wife to use. In most instances, they eventually wear out or become obsolete. What I then usually do is take out the hard drive, stick it on a shelf in my basement, and recycle the remaining parts. Someday I'll get around to disposing those drives, I promise.

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