I've had great and wonderful advise from this forum so I'm hoping that I'll receive the answers to my question.
I asked HERE, earlier, if I should hang onto a 5 year old Compaq Presario laptop or not and the consensus was to NOT repair it but give it awasy. I've already bought a new Gateway to replace it.
My roommate needs a laptop and I offered her my old one. I've warned her that the laptop needs a new hard-drive (her dad can do it) and the O.S. disk from Compaq.
I thought that I'd be totally safe from Identity Theft because the hard drive crashed but when I picked up the computer from BEST BUY and mentioned this fact to them, the service tech said that "...all my sensitive information is still on the computer."
Now, I'm confused. I thought that the BIG DEAL about a hard-drive crashing was that you lost all your stuff: photos, music files, and other things linked to you. But, if my roommie's dad puts a new hard drive into the laptop and suddenly they have acces to my password on amazon and ebay, I'll freak.
Can anyone enlighten me as to WHAT I should be worried about AND, more importantly, WHAT we can do to take the information off of the computer??? I trust my roomie, (she's lived with me for 2 years) but if she doesn't want to buy a hard drive, I'm worried about just donating the thing to an organization and having sensitive information in front of strangers.
Any and all help will be appreciated, so thank you in advance for time put into your answer.