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Before getting rid of a computer, you must destroy your old data; simply deleting your files is not enough. You can use a free utility program like Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) that will overwrite your hard drive, making the data unrecoverable. Or if demolition is more your style, you can remove the hard drive and physically destroy it with a hammer. Because computers contain toxic levels of mercury, lead, and arsenic, it's important to dispose of them at an authorized electronics recycling center.
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