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April 1, 2007
Copier + Hard Drive: A dangerous combination
When you mention ‘hard drives,’ most people think of computers, but photocopiers also have hard drives that store digital versions of everything put on the
glass.  If an original document is ever lost, you can always run back to the backup.  What do people use copiers for?  Well, in addition to workplace information
and documents, company flyers and manuals, people also use photocopiers to make copies of their tax returns, insurance cards, photo IDs and Social
Insurance paperwork.  All this information becomes stored on the copier’s hard drive.  What happens when that copier gets old and is sold on eBay?

Copiers are hardly highly-secure devices, and such data could be accessed via a network connection, too.  In a recent story by
Computerworld, they say that
the “wake-up call” is being delivered by, surprisingly, Sharp, a manufacturer of these devices.  The company polled Americans and found that 54 percent of
those surveyed had no idea that photocopiers stored digital versions of everything put on the glass.

What to do?  Naturally, Sharp (and presumably other companies too) are promoting its newer copiers, which encrypt digitally stored copies and "virtually shred"
recent ones so they can't be recovered.  If you've got such features on your office machine, make sure you use them.  

But also remember that next time you make copies at Kinko's or another copy shop, or at your place of work, you could be leaving behind a copy of anything you
reproduce, so make sure you take precautions in what you are photocopying.

Source:  Computerworld
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