If you happened to receive a new computer, and are tossing out an old machine, please remember to permanently erase any personal data. Otherwise, someone like me* just might find your discrete photos, bank account numbers, SSAN, and so forth.
In Windows, merely “deleting” the files doesn’t do it; deleted files sit in your recycle bin until you actively empty it…
Which also doesn’t do it. A deleted file isn’t truly deleted until the portions of the hard drive on which it sat is overwritten. “Deleting” just changes the file header to “this space available”. Until it’s overwritten, someone like me — or worse, someone not as honest as me — can recover the data.
So delete all your data using a file shredder like this one before that computer goes out to the curb.
* The last three computers I acquired by scrounging — including one last night — all had extensive files left completely undeleted: pictures of kids, vacation shots, financial data, personal letters, and more. I’m nice; I just wiped it all.