If old IT devices are discarded, returned to a leasing company or otherwise sold, it must be ensured that they have been treated with suitable methods in order to rule out any type of data recovery – including using modern methods of IT forensics. In order to be able to prove secure data deletion, a company should have complete documentation. Documentation meets internal compliance criteria and at the same time serves as proof of compliance with statutory data protection standards.


The data deletion methods offered by standard operating systems regularly do not securely delete data on hard  drives. As a rule, standard programs only delete the assignment references from the table of contents of data carriers. Therefore, the legally protected personal data must be destroyed using special methods.

In order to avoid a breach of data protection regulations, retired IT systems must be subjected to secure data deletion. Such a system often seems necessary to prevent the loss of highly sensitive company data.

The German Society for Data Protection recommends deleting all data carriers that contain personal data or sensitive company data at least using a method that provides for a triple overwrite. For highly sensitive or top-secret data, we recommend an erasure method that performs a 7-fold overwrite.

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