Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

FREE EBOOK

Check here if you're human

Sponsors

Before Getting Rid of Your Old Printer, Say “Goodbye” to Lingering Data

0
Pin It

In the security business, there’s a lot of talk about protecting your smartphones and computers from malware and viruses, as well as loss and theft. It makes sense. Most of us use our smartphones and computers on a daily basis and keep important information on them like passwords, user names, and credit card numbers. But there are other devices that hold sensitive data that we don’t really talk about. For example, printers.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-keyboard-recycle-button-green-white-icon-image35645776Some printers have internal hard drives or flash memory that store documents that have been scanned. This means that images of your pay stub, medical records, credit card statements, or any other sensitive documents you once scanned are stored in the printer’s memory and therefore retrievable by someone who knows where to look for it.

Because these hard drives are usually hard to find, they are usually not removed before a printer is resold or recycled. That can be bad news for you if your printer gets into the wrong hands.

If your printer is nearing the end or you are upgrading to a new printer, make sure you delete that important data off your old printer.

How do you get rid of your printer’s data? There are multiple ways.

  • Unplug your printer for a while. This will delete data if there’s no local storage. Check your printer’s  user guide to see how long to leave your printer unplugged until the data is removed.
  • Clear the direct email function. If your printer has this feature, make sure to delete your password before getting rid of the printer.
  • Wipe the disk drive. If your printer has a disk drive feature, use the wipe disk to make sure your data is not accessible by others.
  • Destroy the hard drive. If you decide to trash a printer rather than reselling it, take it apart and find the hard drive. Remove it and hammer it. But remember, safety first. Make sure you wear those safety glasses.

Follow these tips and sell or recycle your printer with peace of mind, knowing that nobody will be able to retrieve your personal information.

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked!  Disclosures.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • How to safely and securely recycles Devices
    Don’t just throw out your old devices; take measures to protect your personal information. Back Up Before ridding your device, back up everything on it—everything. Use an automated PC service and/or a flash drive. For the iOS and Android, activate Apple’s iCloud or the Google Auto Backup service. Wipe Wiping refers to removing all your data. Simply hitting “delete”
  • How to Prepare a Storage Device for Resale
    If you want to sell a storage device, first back everything up on it with a flash drive, external drive or automated backup service. For Android or iOS, activate the Google Auto Backup service or Apple’s iCloud. Next, wipe the device. No, not with a rag, but wipe out the data, completely. Reformatting the hard drive
  • PC Hard Drive Maintenance 101
    Keeping your hard drive in tip-top shape is key to a well-running computer. A crashed hard drive means smacking a big wet-one goodbye to all of your data. Eliminate Unnecessary Data De-clutter the drive to make its workload easier. One way of de-cluttering is to uninstall programs you never use (go to the control panel). Review your files and
  • In with the New, out with the Old
    If you plan on getting a new smartphone, have you ever thought of what the next user of your old smartphone will find on it? This assumes you’ll be selling or donating it, of course. Are you SURE those risqué photos are totally gone, or that your diary entries have been wiped clean? Experiments have been
  • Spring Cleaning Your PC
    If your PC is bogged down with useless software and your desktop is jammed with icons and documents, then your PC is next to useless as a productivity tool. Even scarier is the increased likelihood that if you have lost track of your files, you could easily have sensitive personal information exposed without your knowledge. Begin

Comments are closed.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category