Copy Machines and Fax Machines, A Security Risk
by Brian P. McGuinness 4-06-2011

 

Technology has evolved at such a rapid pace that it is nearly impossible to keep up with all the potential ramifications. There is, as in most things in life, a down side to certain technologies. You may have seen broadcasts or read news articles in the recent past concerning the amount of data that is retained on the hard drive of a fax machine. Didn't know? Well, if you are a professional, for example an attorney or accountant or a doctor, you better know or you could face some serious consequences for not safeguarding clients' confidential information.

I recently wanted to recycle an older model HP fax/copier that I purchased when faxing on plain paper as opposed to thermal paper was a big selling point. It had been collecting dust on an office shelf for years and it was time to get rid of it. I knew that there was years worth of data on some type of hard drive memory device on this machine. I had to call HP two or three times before I got a technician that admitted that there was likely a lot of data on the machine and after trying several codes since it was an older model, we successfully were able to wipe the drive clean.

Recent news and TV stories have highlighted the same type of security risks that are associated with copy machines. They all have hard drives (since 2002) and retain tens of thousands of images that have passed through the machines. The CBS clip that is linked below is a real eye opener and worth the time to watch. If you have ever given away or sold a copy machine, you may have inadvertently provided potential fraudsters with some powerful confidential information that they can utilize for criminal activity and that may jeopardize your clients and likely yourself! Click on the below hyperlink and take a look.

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