Laptop computer

Photo: Fuse/Thinkstock

2 of 4
If I Donate My Computer, Someone Will Steal My Data
"Your goal is simply to make access to your data so difficult that a criminal will look elsewhere," says Derek Meister, a tech support expert at Best Buy, which has recycled a billon pounds of electronics. Before parting with your computer, check the owner's manual online for instructions on performing a factory reset, which will reformat the hard drive, blocking access to previously stored data. For added security, change the password on accounts you used with that device.