Do Copy Machines Store Data?

Woman copying pages from a book at the library
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Copy machines built in recent decades share a structure similar to your laptop and smartphone. They have a hard drive, operating system, memory, applications and are connected to a network. Therefore, the “brain” of a copy machine is basically a computer.

Being a computer, this also means that copy machines have security risks – just like any other computer-enabled device. In this article we’ll discuss the safety and security of copiers and other related devices. 

RELATED ARTICLE: The Top 7 Network Printer Security Best Practices

Do Copiers Keep Copies of Documents?

Many stand alone copiers have a hard drive, which stores copied data. While this hard drive is often quite sizable, once it is full, it will delete the oldest data in order to store the most recently copied document.

This may seem scary, but it is typically how copiers work. However, with some strategic security planning to cover the lifecycle of your copier, you’ll lower your risk of a having a chance for a hacker gain access to your stored data or network.  

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Warning Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Copier 

Is It Safe to Use a Public Copy Machine?

Have you used the copy machine (or printer) at your local library? Many have. It’s a convenient and inexpensive way to copy or print a document when you don’t have an option at home.

Public copy machines are fine to use for general materials. But if what you need to copy contains sensitive or confidential information (e.g. your name, address, phone number, social security number, tax information, medical records, etc.), using the copy function on your home multi-functional printer, might be safer. If you must use a public copy machine, consider asking the staff about their security policies for networked office devices to better understand any possible risks. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Tips to Protect Yourself on Public WiFi

Do Scanners Store Data?

Scanners, copiers, printers and modern fax machines typically store scanned information onto the device’s hard drive.

To increase the safety of the data stored on a device, protect your networked printing device fleet by using secure printing software. This will better protect your devices from being accessed by   unauthorized users. Shared devices that require a PIN code, preprogrammed card or other user identification method, promote secure printing. This tactic is also often a part of zero trust printing policies.

When a device is due to be replaced, make sure that the hard drive is properly erased before recycling or disposal.

When you buy or lease your office technology through a Managed Print Services provider, they should be able to destroy any document history on a device as a part of the decommissioning process. And they should be able to provide a document of proof for extra peace of mind that the hard drive has been erased. Make it a point to ask about these services when evaluating providers – not all are alike.

How Do I Remove Personal Information From my Home Printer?

We suggest that you check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer of your print device to determine the best way to remove printer memory. Some multi-function printers include a settings option for removing data, noted as “restore to factory settings,” while other models require alternative methods to wipe your printer hard drive memory clean.

What Managed Print Services Can Do For You

Working with a managed print services provider like Gordon Flesch Company is the best way to ensure your copiers and other printing-related office devices are secure and that hardware and software updates are performed in a timely manner. Our print security experts routinely help to secure confidential and sensitive information and can help determine which office technology devices and options are best suited for your business.

You’ll enjoy more uptime and fewer headaches with Gordon Flesch Company managed print services. Partner with the best and we’ll show you how to increase your business’s productivity, enhance security, improve staff focus and save money.

Learn More About Copier Machine Security Risks

A print security evaluation will take a look at the infrastructure of your current print fleet and security standards in order to find gaps and opportunities for improvement. Contact the Gordon Flesch Company for a complementary tech check, today!

Or download our Quick Guide to Print Security to gain an overview of why print security is important, how it works and what you can expect from implementing a proper endpoint strategy.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Click the link below to download your free copy of this valuable resource, now! 

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