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The next security threat – old copier machines

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urban survivalOne of the best examples of urban survival we’ve run across…

Technology allegedly makes your life easier, then sucker punches you in the gut. Exhibit 459,231A is your standard office copy machine. This ubiquitous office workhorse has probably seen a few documents cross its glass plate that you would prefer not to share with just anyone who ponies up the paltry sum of money it takes to buy it on the used copy machine market.

According to a CBS News report, 6,000 copiers are sitting in a warehouse in New Jersey waiting to be sold, and that same scenario plays out around the world. Nothing nefarious there. The world runs on used products. But did you know that ever since mainstream copiers entered the digital age, sometime in 2002, each machine comes with a hard drive much like that on a computer? This hard drive stores digital copies of every single piece of paper ever fed into it – perfect for a bit of identity theft, wouldn’t you say?

What kinds of documents have you made copies of in the past decade? Social Security cards, birth certificates, credit cards, tax returns, child support payments? At Holistic Survival, we’d say that makes for a prime case of identity theft. Believe it – if CBS is just now arriving on scene, criminals have already been doing it for a long time.

And what if you run a business? Do you want those records sitting in the hands of criminals? A company in Sacramento has developed software (Infosweep) that wipes hard drives clean. To prove the danger, they purchased a lot of copiers and were able to pull off medical records, including cancer diagnoses.

We’re not trying to run your life for you but, in the future, do something about the hard drive on that office copier before you trash it, sell it, or give it away!

The Holistic Survival Team

Flickr / David Boyle

 

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