Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to sell your old tech while protecting your data | PCWorld

Take a look at that old phone. Remember when it was new, shiny, vivacious, and full of life? Remember how glorious it was? Those days are gone: Your phone is now a scuffed, marred shell of its former glory, especially now that you're involved with that shiny new phone you just got.

Your old phone may still have some life left to it, though, and someone, somewhere, might want to love it. Selling your old tech gear can give it a second chance at getting the affection it deserves—and put a few bucks into your pocket.

But where’s the best place to sell used tech? How can you keep your devices in good shape so you get maximum resale value? And, most importantly, how do you wipe away all traces of your personal data?

The good news is that these important questions don’t have complicated answers. With a little know-how, you can easily get a healthy return on your old gear and make sure it’s as empty of data as the day you bought it.
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Definitely deleted: How to guarantee your data is truly gone before recycling old PCs and drives | PCWorld

Deleted files can often be recovered, and that's a problem when you're passing your PC or PC-related tech along to someone else. Whether it’s sensitive financial data, business documents, or scandalous photos that could be used to blackmail you, you probably don’t want people getting their hands on your private stuff.

Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your data, whether you’re getting rid of a PC, external hard drive, or USB stick. Here's how!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

How to encrypt (almost) anything | PCWorld

Encryption is a great way to keep valuable data safe—whether you’re transmitting it over the Internet, backing it up on a server, or just carrying it through airport security on your laptop. Encrypting your data makes it completely unreadable to anyone but you or its intended recipient. Best of all, much of the software used in offices and on personal computers already has encryption functionality built in. You just need to know where to find it. Read more

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why you can trust free software (or at least some of it) | PCWorld

Free products often come with strings attached. But if you pay attention and listen for the right recommendations, you can get some excellent software for free—without breaking the law.

There are some perfectly good reasons why an individual programmer, a programming collective, or even a for-profit company will let you use the fruit of their labor without getting paid. Read more

Monday, May 12, 2014

A road warrior's guide to locking down your laptop | PCWorld

Mobile computing may be convenient, but it's also inherently risky. When you drag your laptop to the coffee shop or bring it along on your travels, you’re making all your private data and one of your most expensive possessions a big, fat target for sticky-fingered thieves. And unlike traditional theft targets like jewelry or wallets, a laptop is an easy steal—the baddies just need to wait for you to turn your back, then grab the computer and run. In some cases, a criminal doesn’t even need to steal your notebook. He can simply pull your sensitive data out of thin air.

Fortunately, you can do a lot to minimize the perils possibly encountered on the road. By taking a few simple precautions and following some common-sense practices while you’re out and about, you can drastically reduce the chance that your laptop will be stolen and keep your data locked up tight. With great portability brings great responsibility!Read more