How To Correctly Dispose Of Hard Drives

According to the Irish electrical and electronic equipment disposal law, hard drives are classed as electronic waste and should not be disposed of in household waste or residual waste. The correct way to dispose of a domestic hard drive is via a communal recycling center, or, in the case of businesses, to have it destroyed appropriately following GDPR protocols.

Hard Drives & GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which came into force in 2018 – deals not only with the protection of existing data, but also with its deletion in accordance with the law. This applies to all types of data carriers selected for the storage of personal data. In companies, hard drives are very often used as storage media for personal data & information, therefore, they must be protected at all times, even when not in use anymore.

What To Do When Hardrives Are No Longer In Use?

Hard drives must be destroyed in accordance with the GDPR regulations, just like the paper on which data is stored, for example. If hard drives are used for the storage of personal, sensitive data, the same regulations apply for data destruction as for the destruction of other data carriers.

This means that data destruction – in this case destroying a hard drive – must comply with data protection. To delete a hard drive is not compliant with GDPR and where there is data misuse, this can lead to drastic penalty payments.

In order to protect stored data and make sure it is not mishandled, hard drives should be destroyed accordingly.

How Are Hard Drives Destroyed In Accordance With GDPR?

To destroy a hard drive in accordance with GDPR is not enough to delete it or overwrite it.

To really destroy the data in accordance with GDPR, the hard drive should be shredded. It is only in this manner of data carrier destruction that you can be sure that the personal, sensitive data cannot be recovered.

By using a hard drive shredder with the correct security level, hard drives and data can be destroyed in accordance with GDPR.

How To Correctly Dispose Of Hard Drives: Secure Destruction Of Hard Drives By Shredding

Methods like overwriting or deleting are frequently suggested. However, these methods of data deletion present gaps in data protection because in both cases files can, where applicable, be recovered. This means that simply deleting the data from the hard drive is not sufficient to destroy it, as it is possible to recover the deleted data at any time. Data can therefore still fall into the wrong hands. Likewise, experts are in a position to recover the data on a hard drive after, for example, destroying it with a hammer.

The solution for the correct destruction of data on a hard drive is mechanical destruction. Only the professional destruction of the hard drive by using a shredder can ensure that the data on the hard drive is destroyed permanently, irretrievably, and in accordance with data protection laws.

However, the protection level required for the data and the corresponding security level of the shredder must also be taken into account here.

To further increase the security of the destruction, the data should be destroyed directly at the point of origin, within the company.

What Shedders Should Be Used

Depending on the media shredder selected, the security level is H-3 or higher. The HSM Powerline hard drive shredders transform digital data media into very small particles, making recovery impossible – making it secure, data protection compliant, and economical.

If you would like to learn more about the safe destruction of data and shedders models and spec, you can contact us here!