True or false? I'm ready to give away my old computer after I've deleted all the files.

False. Deleting files isn't good enough. You'd be amazed what people can pull from the hard drives of secondhand or donated computers if the hard drive hasn't been completely reformatted and Windows reinstalled. (And if you pass along the PC to a family member, you're probably not going to do this.)

PC World did a story where they found Social Security numbers, income tax returns, and other personal and important information on old, discarded hard drives. Once you pass along your old PC, you have no idea where it will travel down the line. To erase your info, try a free utility program, such as Eraser, to zap documents into oblivion. There's also Webroot's

Window Washer,25803,00.asp for cleaning up the many little nuggets that lurk elsewhere.