I was totally shocked when I read this. Although I know that copiers these days can email a PDF of the documents you photocopy to any email address, I had neglected to realize that before you can send it out, it has to be saved. Therefore, whatever I have photocopied in the past, could be sitting at the copier’s hard drive. I thought I’d let you know – – in case you photo copy a lot of your personal stuff on your office copiers. Careful careful!!!
Put a hard drive into a standard photocopier, so you can have a digital version of anything you run through the machine. That way, if the original is ever lost, you can always run back to the backup. (I hadnâ€™t realized this, but copiers have been including hard drives for five years now.)
Now people are finally waking up to the wrinkle in this plan, which should have been obvious: What do people use copiers for, anyway? Company flyers and employee manuals, but also for tax returns, insurance cards, photo IDs, and Social Security paperwork. Now what happens when that copier gets old and is sold?
The wake-up call is, surprisingly, being delivered by Sharp, a manufacturer of these devices. The company polled Americans and found that 54 percent of those surveyed had no idea that photocopiers stored digital versions of everything put on the glass.
Sharp is promoting its newer copiers, which encrypt digitally stored copies and â€œvirtually shredâ€ recent ones so they canâ€™t be recovered. If youâ€™ve got such features on your office machine, make sure you use them. But also remember that next time you make copies at Kinkoâ€™s or another copy shop, you could be leaving behind a copy of anything you reproduce.