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Copy Machines May Contain Identity Theft Risks

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If you thought that we have been exposed to way too many risks of identity theft, think again. According to the Associated Press, simply using older model photocopiers may present risks of identity theft:

That’s because most digital copiers manufactured in the past five years have disk drives – the same kind of data-storage mechanism found in computers – to reproduce documents. As a result, the seemingly innocuous machines that are commonly used to spit out copies of tax returns for millions of Americans can retain the data being scanned.

If the data on the copier’s disk aren’t protected with encryption or an overwrite mechanism, and if someone with malicious motives gets access to the machine, industry experts say sensitive information from original documents could get into the wrong hands.

I guess that in order to prevent other types of identity theft, we now need to keep a careful eye on the copy machines we use at Kinkos and other public places everytime we make photocopies of our tax returns and other sensitive documents.