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One thing you need to do before getting rid of an old gadget or computer

Is it time for you to get a new computer, tablet or smartphone? If so, you're probably going to sell or give away your old one.

Hold on for a second, you might be giving away your sensitive personal data. Deleting files and using the Recycle Bin just isn't good enough. The information you delete can still be hanging around on your hard drive.

That means almost anyone with a little know-how can recover it with a simple and free program. The only way to completely secure your gadget is to wipe its hard drive.

With that in mind, we're going to tell you how to wipe the data from Android and Apple gadgets as well as PCs and Macs.

The terms wipe, shred, delete and erase are often used as if they're interchangeable - but they shouldn't be, because they're not. For example, you don't have to erase a file just because you deleted it. And you can erase a drive without wiping it, or wipe files that have already been deleted. It can be a bit confusing.

Bonus tip: Click here to read this helpful guide that breaks it all down and helps you understand what each action means.

We will begin with how to wipe Android gadgets.

Next page: Wiping Android gadgets

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