Office copiers can contain a lot of sensitive data, including account numbers, customers’ social security numbers, and business secrets. Find out how to secure this confidential information.

How to Keep Your Copy Machine Data Secure

Most business owners don’t think about their copiers when the topic of data security arises. However, many copy machines are set up on networks or are part of multifunction machines that also fax, print and scan. There’s an abundance of sensitive data inside that could become the subject of fraud and identity theft if it gets into the wrong hands. You can protect your and your customers by taking the following measures to keep this data secure.

Know the Security Features

The first step to securing sensitive business and customer information is knowing the security features of your copiers. You should also know what information your copiers hold on their hard drives. Some of these devices come with disk erase or override features that eliminate previous document copies as soon as a new one is made or after a certain amount of time passes. Other copy machines come with encryption capabilities, or the manufacturer sells the encryption capabilities separately.

Educate Yourself and Your Team

Know and teach your team about the risks of losing the stored data. Many people just don’t realize that copy machines retain information, so they’re more likely to scan confidential or sensitive data without hesitation. Make sure that you and your workers understand the proper method for eliminating copier information after use. If possible, limit how much business and customer data can be stored.

Manage or Remove the Data

Make sure that your information technology or data security team manages and maintains your copiers. This staff should also know the proper procedure for securing the stored data. If you don’t have an IT team for this, you have to send out your copy machines for service maintenance. Check with the copier dealer or manufacturer about your options for securing the internal memory or hard drives. Some service companies also dispose of the information for you.

When it’s time to upgrade copiers for your business or return rented machines, don’t forget to erase all of the data on the hard drives. Software is available to wipe or sanitize the device. You should also document this process for compliance reasons.