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Thursday, 18 March 2010 00:00

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Click here to view direct link to Hawaii KHON 2 news story: Copy Machines an Identity Theft Concern

Copy Machines an Identity Theft Concern

When it comes to securing your personal information...Don't overlook that digital copier and printer.

"Brings up all kind of security issues that frankly haven't been considered," says James Kerr with Super Geeks.

He says photocopiers manufactured in recent years can do more than just make copies, send faxes or print papers.

"Your copier is like a computer it has a hard drive in it, it's got memory and when you scan something even if it's just a fax, because many of these copiers also serve as faxes, or if it's to copy a document then that information gets stored."

Information that could hold sensitive personal or business data.

"Retirement information, family information, things with social security numbers on it...," lists Michael Nauyoka, Employment and Labor Attorney.

Nauyoka's law firm in Honolulu has such a machine.

"And that data is gonna be available to people on the network that know how to access it and it will be on the hard drive."

Some copiers are protected with security features - but not all, and that information you meant to keep private could get into the wrong hands. Some business are catching on.

"It's a new game out there, the old copy machines didn't have this capability," says Nauyoka.

"One thing I think is a big issue, what happens to these old copiers?," says Kerr.

Offices, even coping companies and libraries are supposed to wipe the hard-drives clean before the printers are thrown out.

"And if that information isn't purged then you potentially have a security issue," says Kerr.

Security experts say business should check with their copier vendor. And those making the copies need to make sure the copier their using has security features.

While there's no known cases of identity thieves hacking into copiers, experts say the concern is still out there.



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