The multifunction digital printers and copiers that a lot of businesses use are great because they allow you to print, copy, scan, fax and email documents all from one unit. Talk about ease-of-use and convenience, right?
But what isn't so great... and what you may not realize... is that these copiers contain hard drives which store images of every document that is copied, scanned, faxed or emailed by that machine. Since 2002, almost every digital copier that was built contains one or more hard drives. And these hard drives remember every single copy that was made and every single document that was scanned, faxed or emailed.
What Sensitive, Confidential Information Have You Copied, Scanned, Faxed or Emailed Lately?
Just think about what kinds of things you print, copy, scan, fax or email on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. When you hire a new employee, do you photocopy their driver's license and social security card? Do you scan and fax or email a copy of your income tax return to your CPA so they have a copy for their records? In an attempt to reduce paper usage and storage, do you scan your bank statements? Mutual fund statements? Credit card statements? The hard drive on your digital copy machine records an image of all these documents.
While you may think your confidential data is safe inside the hard drive of your photocopier... what happens when the lease on this piece of equipment is up? You return it and get a new one. Or, if you bought the machine, perhaps you sell it, give it to charity or even junk it if it's not working and isn't worth fixing. The thing is, regardless of what kind of shape your copy machine is in or however you dispose of it, the hard drives are still inside that unit with all your sensitive personal and confidential information. Your digital photocopier could be shipped to another business with all your data still on it! So someone inside or outside of the United States may end up with access to all your documents, personal information or trade secrets.
Make Sure Your Sensitive Data Doesn't Get Into the Wrong Hands!
According to Digital Copier Security, thousands of used copiers leave U.S. businesses every month. But the question is... where do they go? Typically these digital copy machines are shipped directly to wholesalers who specialize in reselling these units. Some photocopiers however are loaded onto cargo containers and shipped to overseas buyers with your confidential data still on them! With all the HIPAA regulations, new data security laws and identity theft concerns, businesses need to take responsibility for the data that is stored on their digital copy machines.
You may also want to think twice before you make a photo copy, scan a document or fax confidential information from a publicly accessible copy machine. These publicly available photocopiers may be ripe for identity thieves.
We will post additional articles on this subject in the future. We will outline the process that PrimePay has gone through... step-by-step... to ensure that the data that goes through our own digital photocopiers is purged, wiped clean and kept out of harm's way.