Like any gadget, the printer also needs maintenance and security, but most of the printer users tend to ignore this fact or don’t think of it as a necessary task. Contrary to their beliefs, it is essential to secure your printer, or else it may possess a security risk. This majorly happens when an internal hard drive of the network printer stores previous print jobs in a queue. People who have access to such a printer can hack its operating system and check all the data, which might be the source of some private information. You can avoid such situations by using the methods mentioned below:
Update Your Printer Firmware
Like any device, printers should also be updated with time to ensure the overall security of the gadget. However, printers don’t receive frequent updates like a computer OS, but still, you should regularly check for updates. If you use a printer with an interactive display, then use its screen to check for updates. You can also use your printer’s PC software to check for updates. This means you can find the latest updates on the Setup or Advanced Settings page. But these options might differ depending on the printer brand you use. Installing updates will fix security patches and remove vulnerabilities.
Password-Protect Remote Access
These days, most of the modern network printers allow users to manage their printer through a web interface. Despite being a useful feature, printer users have to be careful not to let anyone else access it. But first, you should check if your printer supports this feature. To do so, enter its IP address on any browser or use an app associated with your printer. You can easily enable security with this method as it doesn’t require any password by default.
If you use HP’s Embedded Web Server, head to Settings and select Security. Then, click on Password Settings. This will ensure that no one other than you can make any changes to your printer, even if they have your printer’s IP address.
Restrict Printing Permissions
If multiple people share your computer and you don’t want some of them to have access to your printer, then use the Windows option to allow only a few people to access your printer. To use this method, head to the Settings of your computer, and click on Printers & Scanners. Then, select your printer from the list, and click on Manage. A new screen will open from where you have to click on Printer Properties to get access to extended options.
Now, from the Properties tab, switch to Security to find the list of users on your computer. You can also check permissions for each user. To change the approval for a particular user or group, select their name from the list and select Deny on anything you want to permit. Remember, this method applies to your PC users only, and users can use the printer if it is on your network.
Secure Your Networked Printer
If you use your printer on the network, then you should check your home’s network connection and ensure that it’s completely secured. Doing so will minimize any chances of inviting a malicious intruder attacking your printer, and other devices connected to that network.
The bare minimum step you can use is by adding a strong password on your network and changing the default password for logging into your router. It will make it harder for hackers and intruders to get into your network and invade any device.
Use Advanced Printer Security
The tips mentioned above are enough to secure your printer, but you can still add more security to it by using some advanced tools. It will ensure overall safety. One of the best ways to do so is by using a firewall on your PC, and the other method is to use a router for restricting network printing requests on your printer.
You can use the firewall to restrict some functions. You can also choose to manage multiple network ports in your router’s configuration panel. Since any user can use multiple ports for different printing objectives, you can restrict or prevent such users from accessing your printer. But where you want to manage the port depends entirely on the router model you have in your house.
Incorporate these methods to ensure overall security. All the techniques mentioned above serve a different purpose and resolve unique issues. Apart from technical security, you should also maintain the physical safety of your printer, especially if you live in a shared space. Also, note that some of the tool options mentioned above might have a different name on your PC and printer.
Source:- Secure Your Printer