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Did you know that digital copiers have hard drives that store all the information copied? According to eWeek, the FTC is now working with manufacturers to tighten the security risks for businesses, but until everything is finalized, here are some steps to make sure you’re not reselling private information if you sell your equipment.
Scrub Your Hard Drive
Just like you would before you sell a computer, clean your office copiers before reselling them. Some software programs on the market available for purchase are:
- Sharp has an encryption package erasing all your images from your copiers hard drive.
- Xerox on the other hand has been making strides to make their digital copiers safer since 2001. As of 2006, many of their copiers in the Officeportfolio have a feature called “Disk ImageOverwrite” that helps protect your information for free.
Enlist an IT Expert
Regardless if you think you are an expert, always seek professional help from someone in the field – especially when it comes to security concerns for your company. If you don’t have an IT expert in-house, there are plenty of them available to outsource and should be able to take care of wiping these machines clean just like they would a computer. As much as I hate to admit it, GeekSquad is nationwide, quick and easy.
Implement a Digital Filing System
Creating a digital filing system can be a great way to minimize your risk. Many businesses are digitizing their files for this reason – BoardPortal and NeatDesk are just two popular document management software programs that will digitally file the information. The fewer places information is handled, the less likely it will be that the information will get in the wrong hands. Some companies are going down to one digital copier machine that all employees are required to use.
Just like a security attack, it is extremely important to alert your employees of the risks by an office copier. Send an email letting them know that all information is saved (this could also help if employees are copying items that are not business-related so-to-speak) and to be careful of scanning, photo copying confidential and proprietary information. If you decide to move to another system (digital filing) or limit use to only those in HR, it could cut down on the amount stored on the copier’s hard drive.
After news broke in April of these threats, the FTC has gotten heavily involved. Although this development is new, keep up-to-date on the latest security developments the FTC will be issuing. They are currently in talks with the major copier distributors and manufacturers to get a grip on the situation.