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Modern copiers use hard drives to store images as part of the copy and print process. Even if the copier deletes the image once it has been printed, the file remains on the drive unless they are overwritten. It is trivial to recover this data. Off lease and out of service copiers often leave businesses full of confidential information

Businesses that don’t scrub this data before disposing of the machines are handing over vast amounts of potentially sensitive data to the next owner. Copier hard drives should be completely overwritten (filled with ones or zeros), reformatted and then the copier software should be reinstalled.  An even better option is to buy and install new hard drives before the copier leaves the building and physically destroy the old drives.

If you lease your copiers, you might consider drawing up the contracts to stipulate that the hard drives belong to you at the end of the lease term. Also don’t forget to watch for drives that are replaced as part of maintenance.

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