Austin American-Statesman Micro column
Jan 13, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A reader writes in to ask about donating an old PC: "I bought a new laptop and want to do away with my 2004 Dell desktop. What do you suggest I do to safely dispose of my data I would like to donate this to a charity, too."
If you're concerned about keeping your data secure, you can remove the computer's hard drive before you donate the system and use it in a different machine, hold on to it or destroy it (some hardcore privacy experts suggest drilling through the drive's platter itself).
If you want to donate the machine with the hard drive intact, you'll want to erase what's on it and make sure your data can't be resurrected. PC Magazine has a good roundup of free tools you can use for the task. You can find that article at bit.ly/cleardrive on the web. On a Mac, you can use the built-in "Disk Utility" to wipe out a hard drive. It gives you several options to securely wipe the data.
You can donate a PC in Austin to Reglue, which last year folded in the Linux HeliOS Project. The organization rebuilds computers, installs the free Linux operating system on the machines and distributes them to disadvantaged kids. Visit reglue.org/needs.html for donation information.
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas also accepts computers and peripherals through Dell's Reconnect program. Visit dellreconnect.com for a list of dropoff locations and more information.
In this space every week, we'll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email email@example.com
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