If you're donating old technology, or just throwing it away, beware. Deleting sensitive data -- your credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords -- does not actually delete them from the drive.
The data is still onboard, and savvy banditos can access it if they get their hands on your drive.
How to handle?
Surf over to Kill Disk. They have a free product that will "kill" your disk, or remove all data. There are two levels: one pass "kill" (free download), and high level, military-style multi-pass, priced from $39.95 to $59.95.
The free version is a no-brainer, and if you're hesitating at the tariff on the high-level versions, we have two questions for you: 1) how much is your peace of mind worth? and 2) how much will it cost you in time and effort to reclaim your life if all your confidentials fall into the right hands?
Can't happen to you? Happens to the U.S. government even; students found sensitive U.S. defense contracts on hard drives -- in Ghana!
You don't want your data coming back to you in another's hands to haunt you. Be safe. Take the necessary steps to protect your identity and resources.