PrinterWorks West Blog

These days most copiers and multi-function printers, or MFPs as they’re called, have a hard drive. This can be a significant benefit, if used properly — helping you carry out business more effectively, saving workflows, email addresses and more, all within the device.

What’s stored in the hard drive and why should you care? Because mismanaged, the hard drive can cause havoc and in some cases, contravene regulations.

Data and your printer/copies OS

Printers and copiers, like computers, contain an operating system or OS that makes them run. The data within the OS allows the device to operate, while also controlling the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). As more and more applications work with copiers and MFPs, this is critical. For example, the more apps that allow scanning a document into Dropbox, the more enhanced the UI/UX will be.

Address books for emails can be saved on your copier or MFP, saving time so you can send directly to your contact(s).  Any additional software added to enhance user workflows, provide rules and policies and security also stores system data on the hard drive.

What else is stored on the hard drive?

Everything — any print job, fax, copy, or scan. All that data is stored on this piece of equipment that most people don’t think of as having a hard drive. Old copiers often end up being used for parts or are just discarded with the hard drives. Your company information and business dealings could end up anywhere — even in the hands of a competitor.

Protect your print fleet

You should always obtain a certificate of destruction for each hard drive your MPS partner takes away. Copiers, MFPs and printers are prime targets for hacking. Scan everything on your hard drive routinely and then wipe it if possible. If possible, protect your copiers and MFPs with additional security settings and solutions.