is_your_data_safeSome small business owners might be surprised to learn that they pose a serious threat to their data security when disposing of old copiers. Almost all copiers made since 2002 include a hard drive which saves a copy of documents that are scanned, copied or emailed on the machine. So when you returned a leased machine, resell your machine or dispose of it you could potentially be giving out copies of your confidential company records and exposing your customers private information. However, there are ways to prevent anybody from retrieving sensitive data from your old copiers hard drive.

Security software.

If you use your machine to store files or want to have access to old print jobs you can find software that will erase or overwrite all the data on the hard drive when you are done with the machine. There are also security kits available for purchase that can be installed into a new copier that will delete or overwrite the data several times after each function performed on your machine. Be sure to discuss your options with your dealer before making a purchase or signing a lease. Make sure to get certified software and that it provides detailed reporting of the erasure process.

Destroy the hard drive.

If you own your copier or your lease agreement stipulates that you can retain the hard drive at the end of your contract you may want to destroy the hard drive. There are a number of ways to destroy the hard drive. A do-it-yourself method is to drill a hole through the hard drive. There are also a number of other ways, including disintegration, incinerating, pulverization, shredding, melting, sanding, or chemical treatment. Be sure to find an approved facility where it can be done by trained and authorized personnel. While this does not actually erase or destroy the data it makes the drive completely inoperable preventing data recovery.