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Believe it or not, but security is an important factor to consider when buying a new printer for the office these days.
But what exactly does that entail then? Well, we’ve got a few security-minded questions you should keep in mind before splashing out on a printer.
Can you set up access IDs?
We’ve touched on this before, but access IDs are a great way to keep track of who’s printing what. Whether you’re worried about hacks or abuse, it’s worth having anyway.
Most printers these days do support access IDs and similar authentication systems, so you’re virtually guaranteed to have it on your next purchase. Still, it’s worth asking to be doubly sure.
Is the hard drive encrypted?
An encrypted printer hard drive means it’s difficult for hackers to make off with any printer jobs and other info.
This doesn’t seem like a big deal at first glance, but you’ll want this if you regularly print sensitive information. After all, if you’re printing info containing ID numbers, bank account details and more, you’ll want to make sure these don’t get into the wrong hands.
Is the connection to/from the printer secure?
What’s the point in an encrypted printer drive if the traffic to and from the printer is unsecure?
So you’ll want to find out whether the printer supports secure communication to and from a PC. Whether it’s by using HTTPS or other methods, it’s definitely a must-have.
Does it have remote management software?
Almost all printers out there include some sort of basic PC software, allowing you to check ink levels and other variables.
Some brands also feature comprehensive security utilities, giving you security assessments, helping you roll out security policies, updating the firmware and more.
Thinking about buying a certain brand of printer? Then ask the relevant support staff or Google whether that brand supports security utilities and remote management tools.
Can it print via flash drive?
Unplugging the ethernet cable is a drastic step when it comes to fighting hackers, but what’s the point in unplugging if it has no USB flash drive support?
So you’ll want to find out whether it’s possible to print via flash drive, allowing you to do jobs without exposing your printer to the internet at large. Malware can still spread via USB drives though, but the general malware/hacking risk is drastically reduced anyway.
Printers can be somewhat unpredictable when it comes to supported document formats via USB, but PDF is usually a safe bet.
This article has been brought to you by HP.
Featured image: Christiaan Colen via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)