How do I donate my computer and protect myself from identity theft?

It is the "PC" thing to donate your computer to a charity. Donating your computer helps charities, helps us use valuable materials wisely, and also keeps working PCs out of landfills. Before you pass that computer on, you first need to make sure your machine is one that someone can use. If it works and is less than five years old, then someone can probably use it.

When you delete files in you Windows or MAC computer, the operating systems don't completely erase your files. That's where people can get in trouble with identity theft. Third-party software is a great way to remove all your files.

Disk Wiping Utilities: Disk wiping is a process that writes a series of 1's and 0's over the disk in an effort to securely remove sensitive data. Free disk wiping utilities are found in Active at Kill Disk, Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) and eraser. Programs like DriveScrubber, Shredit, R-Wipe, and Clean, offer free trial periods. Additional secure (destructive) file and disk deletion tools and be found Free Secure File / Disk Deletion Utilities site.

Each disk wiping program comes with specific directions for use, and speed of the process depends on the speed and performance of you computer.

MAC users already have a similar option under "Secure Empty Trash." And with Disk Utility you can perform a secure erase of all drive free space. The Apple site offers step-by-step instructions plus a good overview of when to reformat a hard drive. For a general search of the Apple knowledgebase.

Keep usable computer out of the waste stream by donating them to charity.

World Computer Exchange (WCE) provides computers to help connect youth in 63 developing countries to the Internet. To learn what is needed and how to drop off your computer to the Hull, Massachusetts facility, visit the World Computer Exchange site.

Tecschange is a Roxbury organization that uses older computers for computer repair courses to benefit those who cannot afford to buy a new computer. Each student works on several computers, and at the end of the course each student gets to take home a repaired computer. The rest of the computers are donated to non-profit organizations. For information on what is needed and how to make a tax deductible contribution make a telephone call to 617-442-4456 or visit TecsChange Site.

The National Cristina Foundation is a not for profit foundation dedicated to the support of training through donated technology. Please visit the National Cristina Foundation website for more information

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2. How do I donate my computer and protect myself from identity theft?
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