Businesses place a great deal of emphasis on security, and rightly so. Secure wifi networks, password-protected cloud storage, and much more govern who has access to sensitive data and what they can use it for. But securing virtual data pathways isn’t quite enough. For instance, can anyone just walk into your office and take a freshly printed document right off the printer?

Blocking cyberattacks is an important part of office security, but it shouldn’t be your security plan. Securing the machine itself, as well as who can extract information from it, should also be key parts of your security plan. Let’s take a closer look at how to secure your office printer.

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Physical Security

Where is your printer located? A printer in a too-public location may attract traffic or users you don’t want. Keep your machine in a private room or behind a counter where only employees are allowed to go. Even then, monitor user activity for any suspicious behavior or unnecessary extraction of data. And finally, what if you decide to sell your copier or send it off for repairs? Before your printer leaves the office for any reason at all, wipe the hard drive clean so no one can extract data from it.

Pro Tip: How easy is it for a random person to just walk into your office? See if your main entrance needs a little more security to keep unwanted guests out.

User Authentication

Even within the office, certain employees will have access to information that others don’t. That information can be easily, if unintentionally, shared through a printer if you aren’t careful. One potential solution is to institute separate login credentials for every user. With this method, employees can only access the information allotted to them and can’t share it with anyone, even their coworkers.

Secure Wireless Networks

Of course, virtual security is still vital to your office. If you use wireless networks for printing, it’s absolutely critical that those networks be as secure as possible. Malware infecting your networks can grant hackers access to sensitive data on more than just your printers.

Additionally, consider end-to-end encryption for data sent to the printers. This will prevent data from being stolen while in-transit or even after reaching the printer.

Protect Your Printed Information

Plenty of information is exchanged online in our era of computers. However, there’s still plenty of sensitive data that ends up printed and shared as physical copies rather than electronic signals. Those copies are just as vulnerable to theft or data leakage as anything on a computer. Take the time to learn how to protect your data, no matter what form it may take.

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