Copy Machine – Threats to Your Identity?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Tricia 9 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #100297

    Dawn Boyer

    Copy Machines – Threat to YOUR Identity?

    Copying machines are just pieces of metal, right? And, we love the new features such as scanning, faxing, direct e-mail, and digitizing our paper copies, right?

    I had NO idea just how dangerous they have become until I viewed this video.

    After viewing it, you’ll have an “Oh, S**t” moment.

    While many may scream – ‘you are giving identity thieves ideas’ – they are already all over this idea. What is really scary – how many ‘used’ copier machines are shipped overseas. Those nigerian lottery scams might stop because they will ‘hit the lottery’ in their own country with these machines!

    View this URL with the following video clip – this will give you chills up and down your spine!

    If you do business with ANY entity which leases or purchases these advanced copier machines, ask them if they use the machines to copy any information that is private to you?

    **Medical or Health Provider offices (including hospitals!) – think HIPAA!
    **Human Resources offices with payroll information or Benefits information – think identity theft!
    **Government offices which processes business or private information – think personal information, as well as records that the public doesn’t normally see (hmmm…does the social security offices have these types of copiers?)
    **Banks – OMG! – with not only account numbers but user names, amounts, etc. – OMG!
    **Architectural Firms – like keys to the building if they know all the systems and how they were designed!


    Forward this information to all your friends and acquaintances who work in offices where a copier might be in use for awareness!

    You can be doing all you can to keep your identity private, but once these machines get into the hands of folks who know how to download the software to read the documents in the hard drive’s memory, they will have access to thousands upon thousands of documents with all types of your private information on them!

    Because of this story, I have actually adjusted and added to a company employee handbook (policy guide) that instructs employees that 1) the company CAN figure out if they have been using a copier for personal use, and 2) anything the company copies on the machine will be deleted once the machine is sent back to the leasing company to protect their privacy as feasible.

    Be very afraid!

    Dawn Boyer
    LinkedIn connection invitations: Dawn.Boyer(at)
    Follow me on Twitter: @Dawn_Boyer

  • #100307


    Thanks for sharing this. Our agency just got new copiers this weekend, and we lease them!! I have forwarded this on here at my agency.

  • #100305

    Denise Petet

    I saw that news report. I think the most depressing thing about it. The copier company knows there’s a hard drive in there…and they either don’t tell or count on someone reading the manual to find out and put two and two together.

    and they do (at least the one in the story) have software to wipe the harddrive…oh wait, it’s a 500 dollar add on.

    I’m sorry, yes, the customer needs to know and take steps and should know the technicalities of stuff in their building, but IMHO, the company, in not being forward with the info and in CHARGING more for a fix is just as bad as the folks buying and swiping info from the copiers.

    I’m sorry, but the wiping software should be standard and included in the price of the copier, not be hundreds of dollars extra. Just highway robbery.

    We have ‘printer monitoring’ here. ANd it was made very clear all it was was who printed a document titled what for how many pages. Just a ‘paper reduction tool’ and it was made very clear that the info being printed would not be captured, just a username and file name. I bet our legal dept is all over this, cause not only is there the personnel and privacy issues, there’s also legal issues.

    Every company has information that could be litigated against them, and potentially having that info out there are little landmines just waiting to be stepped on. The ‘off shore people taking info out of the machines’ is far more likely, however anything is possible.

    In the news story the copiers they bought had police dept data on them, arrest reports, witness statements, etc. They also had medical info, diagnosis, medical records, etc….all accessible via plugging the hard drive in and using software free on the net to get to it.

  • #100303

    Dawn Boyer

    What is interesting? I have a business associate that sells copier machines and claims that report is false. But it would be pretty hard to make up that stuff and let it go out nationally if they couldn’t prove it like they did on the news show!

  • #100301

    Denise Petet

    I can’t imagine a show like 48 hours or NBC or whomever aired the story faking it. With all due respect to your friend, I’m more inclined to think he’s repeating the company’s ‘party line’.

    The news story showed images of reports, papers, etc all taken off the copiers. There has to at least be a basis in fact, or they wouldn’t have aired the story.

    Probably the biggest unknown is how many ‘bad guys’ really pull data off the hard drives and use is for nefarious purposes and how many just use the copiers and have no idea that there is even info on those drives. Probably the biggest potential falsehood might be an exaggeration of the appeal. In other words, yes the info is there, easy picking and ripe for the taking, yet very few hard drives have actually been taken and copied. the potential theft is probably larger than the actual theft. (and really, if a business had really had its files compromised in such a way and could prove it, there would have been law suits and settlements and there’d be a well known way to wipe the HD clean)

  • #100299

    Good thing that the agency I work for doesn’t buy the scan/email attachments to the copier! Unemployment agencies deal with enough ID theft as it is!

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