Copier Hard Drive Security: How to Protect Your Files


copier hard drive securityConcern over the safety of one’s digital files is at an all time high. People go to great lengths to ensure their desktops, laptops, servers, and mobile devices are secure — but how many people stop to think about copier hard drive security?

The hard drive inside a copier is no different from any other, in the sense that if it fell into the wrong hands all kinds of data can be extracted from it.

Consider the types of documents that go through your office copier each day. These documents may contain social security numbers, credit card numbers, insurance ID information, and so on. This data is all saved to the copier’s cache (temporary) memory, or to its permanent memory if you have chosen to save it that way

Whatever the case may be, if the documents are stored anywhere in the copier hard drive then there is a possibility hackers can break in and steal the information.

Copier Hard Drive Security Leading to Industry Changes

Copier hard drive security is such a concern now that some manufacturers have started to build features into their machines that are designed to prevent the hard drive from being compromised.

Sharp is one of those manufacturers — in fact, all Sharp copiers do a couple of important things to protect the end user. One of those things is to overwrite information stored on the hard drive.

When information is stored on a Sharp copier hard drive it gets overwritten with 7 additional layers of data. The copier is able to read through this data just fine, but a hacker would have to perform the impossible task of breaking through 7 layers of gibberish data to get to what’s actually on the hard drive.

Another security feature Sharp copiers have is an end-of-lease erase. If your lease is up, and you’ve decided not to keep the machine, you can use Sharp’s end-of-lease feature to return the hard drive back to factory settings. No one will be able to access the data afterward because it will no longer exist.

The end-of-lease erase is an excellent feature because you used to have to rely on the leasing company to remove your data. There was always the chance they could neglect to do so, but now you no longer have to worry about that.

Copier Hard Drive Security Tips

Don’t have a copier with built-in security features? That’s ok, you just need to be more proactive about keeping your data secure. Here are a few tips we recommend to ensure your copier hard drive security isn’t compromised:

  • Only store essential documents on the hard drive.
  • Try to avoid storing documents with sensitive information, if possible.
  • Clear the copier’s cache memory on a regular basis, maybe get in the habit of doing it at the end of every day.
  • If your copier is connected via wifi, ensure the network is password-protected.
  • If your copier is connected via ethernet cable, ensure that some server-side security measures are in place.
  • At the end of your lease, erase your data manually or be adamant about having your data erased upon returning the machine to the leasing company.


Copier hard drive security is now right up there with laptop and desktop. All contain sensitive information that could cause a lot of damage in the wrong hands. If you’re not thinking seriously about how secure the data is that’s stored on your hard drive, now is the time to start.

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