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Printing at home

The pandemic has been a challenging time for families and businesses alike.

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The pandemic has been a challenging time for families and businesses alike.  In a work context it has undoubtedly shifted working culture and will shape the way we work in the future.

Recent research undertaken by leading analysts, Quocirca* identified that hybrid working is here to stay, with 52% of respondents saying that they will continue a combination of home and office working after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The printed page is still vitality important even when working from home.  Whether it be proofreading, or reviewing reports, as this is far easier in printed format than on screen.

An interesting statistic that came out of the report was that almost half of the respondents surveyed were not concerned about security and home printing.  Most businesses take IT security extremely seriously, but print devices are often overlooked as part of this process and yet they pose a significant risk if they are not properly managed.  In a home context, this is no different.

Here are our top tips around print security and steps you can take to make your home printer more secure:

  • Protect your home network - If your printer connects to your home network then you have the potential risk of someone being able to access your documents through your network.  Most printers these days connect via Wi-Fi, so it’s important to update and remove default network settings, and implement wireless encryption.  This will prevent any unauthorised users from accessing your network.
  • Secure the print management portal – Most network printers have their own management portal that you can access to monitor toner levels, complete document scans, view activity logs etc.  This is typically accessed by entering the device's IP address. By encrypting portal access with password protection, you have another line of security which prevents unauthorised users from accessing the portal to change print settings.
  • Safely dispose of printed documents – When printing confidential documents, you need to ensure that these are disposed of responsibly by shredding them via a licenced company. GDPR rules stipulate that confidential waste must be carefully disposed of and not put into general waste, otherwise it leaves employers open to a data breach and potential fine.
  • Clear the printer hard drive - When the time comes to replace or dispose of your printer then you will need to check where the hard drive is stored.  A printer hard drive stores all the data and documents ever sent to print, so it needs to either be wiped or destroyed when being sold or disposed of.

Don’t fall into the trap of neglecting data security when home-working.  If you are unsure of the best route to take when it comes to your home printing, please get in touch.  We are here to help.

*Source: Quocirca - Home Printing Trends 2021-

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