Technology has turned the office copy machine into a digital sto - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Technology has turned the office copy machine into a digital storage unit full of personal data

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Nearly every copy machine made in the last dozen years contains a hard drive. A fact many users never think about.

Technology has turned this office staple into a digital hard drive full of sensitive information and zero security.

The capability is no longer just the image goes directly from the document to another piece of paper.  Now every copy, scan and email is all captured and stored onto the copy machine's hard drive.

Data security expert Bobby Dominguez says the problem isn't new. The reality is that these devices have very little security built into them.

At an electronic recycling facility in Tampa, no hard drive leaves in one piece. A giant magnet erases most of the data then a separate machine crushes the drive.

But what about the majority who don't use a professional recycling facility? WFTS-TV spoke with three data security experts and none of them were confident that businesses are doing enough to secure office copy machines.

Manufacturers offer encryption and security software often for an additional few hundred dollars but Archive Corporation vice president Marjorie Baker bets only about 10 percent of employers take preventative measures.

Think about your own personal information. It's not unusual for employees to use the office machine to run off copies or scan and email their own personal documents.

Some of these hard drives hold up to 20,000 documents. The biggest risk comes when the company decides to lease or buy a new machine without having the hard drive removed from the old device and either wiped clean or destroyed.

Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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