"Preserving the Copy:" Copy Machine Dangers


By Michelle Bartlome

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - Tens of thousands of all of the things we've ever made copies of remain on old copy machines.

Almost every copy machine built since 2002 contains a hard drive.

This stores an image of everything the machine scanned, copied or emailed.

A scary thought for many, but there are ways to stay safe.

"You can get social security numbers, bank records, health statements, about anything,” said Mike McCurdy, Integrated Technologies.

Mike McCurdy with Integrated Technologies sells copy machines in the magic valley.

"These days – the hard drives are bigger so it can store 60,000 to 100,000 pages of data from forms to employee things. It’s retaining all of those records and they are accessible. When it's on the hard drive, it's just like a computer, if that gets into the wrong hands – that information can be pulled right off the hard drive,” said McCurdy.

Every single thing that you copy, email or scan on your copier machine, is saved in the hard drive.

"It's memory. It's like a computer. When you put information or save data on memory, it's just there,” said McCurdy.

But, there are ways to erase hard drives on copy machines.

"You can address it ahead of time with a data security kit, they are $400–$500 dollars and installed when you purchase the machine and every time you hit the "go" button or do anything, once that job is finished – it's gotta erase the data 7 times. Or you can address it at the end by you retaining the hard drive. The only way to make sure it goes away is to drill a hole through the hard drive when you finish using it,” said McCurdy.

So unless you ensure that all data has been erased before it leaves your office, you may be opening the door to a security breach.

This worry isn't just for copy machines, Integrated Technologies told us that just about any technology now a days has a hard drive.

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