October 24, 2014
In part one, we showed you just how easy it is to retrieve personal information from an old computer. We bought one at a thrift store, took the hard drive to experts and in a few hours, we found the name, address, bank account information and thousands of personal photographs of the previous owner, who thought he had deleted everything.
So before you donate or sell an old computer, there are a couple of steps to take, to make sure your hard drive doesn't fall into the wrong hands and put you at risk for identity theft.
Sgt. Chuck Lovitt with the Reno Police Department says one option is to have your hard drive wiped clean of all data. Experts at "The Computer Guy" wipe all computers that are donated with a special program that meets Department of Defense standards.
But they agree with police, that even a thorough wipe isn't always a safe bet. The only sure way to make sure data doesnt end up in the wrong hands, is to destroy it.
What you need to do is take the hard drive apart and remove the platters, which look like CDs. Then you take a hammer, and destroy them.