by CBS3’s Jim Donovan for KYW Newsradio 1060

jim donovan Consumer Report: Hard Drive DangersComputers allow us to surf the web, manage our finances online, and communicate with families and friends.  But there is potential for problems, if your computer gets into the wrong hands. Have you ever given much thought to all the information your computer holds?

A growing number of people are finding sensitive, personal information on used computers and hard drives.

Passwords, bank account information, social security numbers, they’re all things that can compromise a person’s identity.

Ryan Dusek heads an FBI computer forensics lab:

“People can do background checks on you based on the information that they get. And they don’t have to get it off of one document. It could come from several documents and they could piece it together and really get a good life history of who you are and what you do.”

So before donating or discarding your computer be sure to download a program to wipe out your hard drive. Some of those programs can be found online for free.

Watch & Listen LIVE