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Danger Where You Never Would Expect It

Most copy machines are complex pieces of machinery that since 2002 have contained hard drives that permit scanning, storing of documents, and other high-technology functions. Unfortunately, when you make a copy on such a machine, whatever you have copied remains on the hard drive, so if you were to copy an income tax return on a public copy machine, your personal information would be stored on the computer’s hard drive, available to enterprising identity thieves who buy used copy machines. When the Federal Trade Commission became aware of this problem, it notified copy machine manufacturers, and since 2007 all copy machines have been equipped with technology that either encrypts the data on the hard drive or provides for its erasure. Unfortunately, for copy machines manufactured between 2002 and 2007, this problem still exists.

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