I recently learned of a great SourceForge project. Most of us know, it is dangerous to throw out or donate that old computer without “deleting” that old data off the hard drive. If you just use an ordinary delete command, you are not actually removing the file. The file index system is just marking that file space a available for use.
Now days, there are data recovery options that are available to anyone with a moderate level of computer skills. It is not just cops and data recovery companies that can get at your private data. There are plenty of criminals and unscrupulous individuals that have learned how to make use of your data.
Thankfully, there is now a project on SourceForge that can help. DBAN DBAN is short for Darik’s Boot and Nuke. This software will allow you to create a boot disk that can be used to wipe your entire hard drive.
I have not personally verified the effectiveness of the software, but it looks like a really good product. Especially considering the price, FREE.
Be aware that this will not stop the National Security Agency from recovering the data, but it will stop your common criminal and neighborhood computer geek.
By the way… don’t throw away that old computer. There are many non-profits that fix up old computers and give them to families that need them. Make use of this free tool to clean the computer, and give it to people that will be grateful to have it.