If The Copy Machine Could Talk.

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The office copy machine: A wonder of efficiency that we all pretty much take for granted. A pit stop for office gossip. A real threat to your personal identity.

Wait a minute, what was that last one again?

Did you know that any copier manufactured since 2002 comes fully equipped with a hard drive? A hard drive just like your computer that can hold a copy of all the images ever copied on that machine. Machines that companies often lease and just as often swap out for new ones. Machines that wind up in warehouses to be resold to anyone, anywhere.

Copy machine hard drives can typically take a handy person about 30 minutes to retrieve. Using forensic software that’s available for (you guess it!) free on the web, within a matter of hours complete images of documents copied can be extracted, viewed and reprinted.

Just when you thought it was only your privacy settings on Facebook that you needed to worry about, this piece from CBS News on the subject is a real eye-opener. The good news, hard drives can be scrubbed – most cases they are not – and security features can come pre-loaded into copy machines – ditto. So think before you copy and before that copier heads out the door, check to see if all the information on its hard drive isn’t about to go with it.

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About Annette DeHaven

Annette DeHaven, Alstin's Vice President, Operations, serves as right hand woman for an impressive roster of clients. Known for addressing problems head-on, Annette, who's led by example for more than 15 years, remembers crazy statistics, regularly spouts off mind-bending metrics, and recalls just about every field description for birds you've never heard of.