Is your Copier Data Safe?

Copier Data

With the current rash of data hacks and information leaks, it’s no surprise that security of office equipment is starting to enter into the thoughts of managers. One of the most common pieces of equipment in an office is the copier. They’ve become a lot more sophisticated with all sorts of bells and whistles, from copies to email and e-faxing. This brings about the question of the safety of the data that’s stored in the copier.

How can businesses keep the data in those massive machines safe from prying eyes? There are a handful of ways. Some are pretty much common sense while others may not be as evident. It depends on how the office manager thinks about it and if the company understands that there’s data in their copier that probably needs to be protected.

One of the biggest ways to protect the data is pretty easy. Put a password on it. Seems simple enough but, as with many simple fixes, it’s usually the last thing that’s thought about. By putting passwords on it and giving that password only to those who need it, the company or office can help keep the data safe. While it’s not fool proof, it is a small step that is probably quite necessary.

Storing the equipment in a secure location is another way to keep the data safe. Now, this may not be easy because most of the copiers out there are HUGE but keeping it in one location that can be somewhat secure, like a copy room or back office can be helpful. Again, not fool proof but a small change that can be made, if possible.

Monitoring Usage and Restricting types of usage is another way to protect sensitive information. For instance, can employees use it to send personal documents to their office email? Is that something that can expose the company info to hackers? That is tough to say so talking to the IT department may help with those questions. Make sure that employees know the dos and don’ts of using the office copier for various pieces of information.

Educating staff is an integral part of keeping information safe. This often goes hand in hand with print timing (the amount of time a document sits on the printer after printing is completed). Let staff know that they need to remember when they print things out, especially if there are things like social security numbers or bank account numbers on those documents. Those two pieces are not the only pieces of sensitive information that can be on documents but it’s a start. Training and having staff understand that the data that passes through the copier can open the company up to hackers, if not handled with care goes a long way to keeping the data safe.

The last way to keep data as safe as possible is to go from multiple pieces of equipment down to one. Now, most offices have an all in one printer but there are still some out there that have a copier and a separate printer. This can make it all the more difficult to keep sensitive information safe. Basically, streamline it all into one piece, password protect it and educate the office staff. The office will also save money in the long run so it’s a win/win!

Keeping all types of data in the office safe is paramount these days. Copiers are no different. Many offices have multifunction printer/copiers that can do a myriad of things that store so much information and that information needs to be kept safe. The suggestions listed above are not exhaustive but they are a good place to start. Once the data is in the machine, it always stays there. Keep that in mind.