Could an identity thief obtain your customers’ personal information from your office copier’s hard drive?
According to a CBS 5 Phoenix, Arizona investigative news story, yes.
A data retrieval specialist with Data Doctors told CBS that copier hard drives often contain hundreds of thousands of sensitive customer information, including names, Social Security numbers, addresses, etc.
For a few hundred dollars, identity thieves can get their hands on personal information, including medical and financial records, the data retrieval specialist reported.
The copiers’ hard drives can be erased but copiers containing personal data that have never been purged can easily be found for sale in warehouses.
The best way to protect data is to hire a service to erase the hard drive first, then send the copier to a reputable recycler. The erasure service costs only about $50.
The Federal Trade Commission received 1.3 million fraud and identity theft complaints in 2009, a nearly 9 percent increase over 2008.