What if I were to tell you that you may be inadvertently disclosing all of your clients’ personal information… asset lists, deeds, account numbers, social security numbers… the list goes on and on. Would that get your attention?
This CBS News report certainly got my attention.
It turns out that most digital copiers manufactured since 2002 are equipped with hard drives, and these hard drives store an image of every document you scan, copy, or email. This may not be a problem as long as the copier stays in your office, but what happens when you trade in your old copier, either by purchasing or leasing a new one?
There is a brisk market for used copiers, which can be purchased for just a few hundred dollars. If your old copier is sold to a new owner who is so inclined, there’s software that can be used to download all your firm’s stored images, exposing your client’s confidential information to misuse by someone you’ve never met.
The bottom line? Copiers are computers, and when you get rid of one, it needs to be cleaned up before it leaves your office.
How can you accomplish this? You’ll want to check with your equipment supplier. There’s software that can scrub data from your copier before you dispose of it, and all major manufacturers offer security or encryption packages to protect your clients’ information from inadvertent disclosure.
President & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
6050 Santo Rd., Ste. 240
San Diego, CA 92124