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Dirty Little Secret #2 — Identity Theft and Copiers —

A little known fact exists in the copier world and it seems prudent to make sure people are educated on this.  The Copier is quickly becoming one of the most common ways to steal identity out there. One survey showed that 55% of people were unaware that copiers often contained hard drives (to improve copying speeds) and of those people 13% planned to make copies outside their homes.  What does this mean?  Basically the important thing is to make sure that if you are having sensitive copies made (tax returns, drivers licenses, birth certificates, credit card info), you need to make sure the copiers you use have data overwrite features so that if the copier were to get stolen, your information isn’t just sitting there. 

For the accountant or attorney who has a copier without these features, you really need to see how much that feature would cost to add and if it is not on your machine, and cannot be put on there, I would say it is time to look at a new device which has this on there.  When we are dealing with our customer’s sensitive data, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to ensure we are able to retain their trust.

Xerox, Kyocera, Lexmark, and most major manufacturers these days offer this feature, but you may have to pay extra to get it.  A lot of folks aren’t aware this is a identity theft risk, so they choose not to purchase this option.  For fields like accounting, taxes, law, and medical, it seems the risk is too high not to pay a few hundred bucks to protect your valued clients.