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Copy That

How to CYA when your photocopier exposes you

5:35 PM -- Next time you have a few too many at the office Christmas party and decide to photocopy your bare rump, remember this: That copier machine has a hard drive and it's probably not encrypted.

OK, so an image of your backside may not give you away as much as, say, that image of your tax return you just made in preparation for April 15. Look out: According to an AP report, Sharp Document Solutions Company of America tomorrow will issue a warning about vulnerabilities in photocopiers that can lead to identity theft and other data losses.

Many of the digital copiers manufactured in the past five years come with data storage, but most don't protect that data.

Sharp conveniently happens to be one of the first photocopier companies to offer encryption security add-ons for its copiers, which encrypt and overwrite scanned images (however seedy) to protect any sensitive data stored there.

So, how can you CYA?

Besides the obvious pants-on advice, you can take Sharp's also obvious recommendation, as reported in the AP article -- don't copy until you know the machines you're using actually deploy security.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

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