Data Liability: Is Your Data At Risk?

data liability

To prevent data liability and/or a data breach, you need to make sure that you find the right company who can destroy and sanitize data from a hard drive. 

If you have ever gotten rid of, sold, or tossed out a computer then you (hopefully) know how important it is to purge your device of all data. After years of having your computer save all of your passwords or saving all of your important documents onto it if anyone gets their hands on it it could be disastrous. This is called data liability. 

Without proper data destruction for commercial computers, there is a possibility of loss in data, privacy, and security. If your business is tossing old computers the data on there could leave you vulnerable to a data breach. And if you have your clients’ information on there you could be held liable for that data that you lost.

So now more than ever it’s important to ensure that the data on recycled or discarded computer components is destroyed properly. That’s why at Great Lakes Electronics we abide by the NIST 800.88 standards.

Media Sanitization According to NIST 800.88

Media Sanitization According to NIST 800.88

According to the NIST 800.88 guidelines, media sanitization is one of the key elements in assuring data confidentiality. In order for organizations to have appropriate controls of the information they are responsible for safeguarding and properly securing used media. 

There are three types of sanitization according to their publication: clear, purge and destroy.


“Clear applies logical techniques to sanitize data in all user-addressable storage locations for protection against simple noninvasive data recovery techniques.” Simply put, this is all the data that one could easily find immediately upon turning on the device. Very little search is required and it doesn’t require any special skills. Clear sanitization is as simple as resetting your device to its factory settings.


“Purge applies physical or logical techniques that render target data recovery infeasible using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques.” We are referring to potentially physically doing something to the device in order to “render target data recovery infeasible,” meaning your personal information can no longer be extracted from your device. This is important not just for you but also if you’re getting rid of devices that contain information that could be potentially damaging for your clients (if you have them) which, as we mentioned earlier could lead to you being held liable if that information gets into the wrong hands.


“Destroy renders target data recovery (using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques) infeasible and results in the subsequent inability to use the media for storage of data.” Well, destroy should be fairly simple to comprehend. Some data is just too important to rely solely on clear or purge. If you work in a field with high profile clients or you handle V.I.D. (Very Important Data) then when it’s time to update your devices you need to ensure that it’s being destroyed properly so that nobody can get their hands on potentially damaging information. This goes beyond someone stealing your family’s secret barbeque sauce recipe. If you’re not willing to chance your data getting into the wrong hands, this is the way to go. 

Great Lakes Electronics Offers Data Sanitization

Great Lakes Electronics Offers Data Sanitization

At Great Lakes Electronics, we strive to remove any worry you may have about disposing of old hard drives and the data they contain. You need a reliable, experienced company that follows these industry guidelines because we care about sanitizing your data the correct way. Don’t put yourself at risk by just tossing out an old device.

We offer complete data destruction of all drives with our in-house data elimination processes. We offer every level of data sanitization and destruction available, from DOD level wiping at the clear level to physical destruction at the destroy level.

Get the most secure destruction of your or your business’s personal, sensitive, proprietary, or classified information. We will even issue you Certificates of Destruction and Certificates of Data Deletion upon request. We abide by the NIST 800.88 standards because we want to ensure that all of your data devices are handled in compliance to your needs.

Not sure what you need? Contact us today to learn more about how we can protect your data safely, completely, and efficiently.