Chances are you have never given one thought to your Printers security, and you’re not alone in this regard. Millions of people use their printers without ever considering that it could pose a security risk if nothing is done, and that’s a problem.
You see, one should protect their printer in the same way a computer is protected from malware, viruses, hackers, and whatever else. Once a device is on your network, which includes a printer, then it is a risk of being attacked, and that is something all printer users should keep in mind.
Secure and protect your Printer from Hackers
In this article, we are going to discuss printer security tips to protect your printer from a general point of view because most printers operate differently.
- Do not connect your printer to the network
- Be sure to secure your network printer
- Use physical printer security when possible
- Update your printer firmware regularly
- Add a password to protect remote access
- Secure your printing ports.
1] Do not connect your printer to the network
When setting up your printer, you might be given the option to connect the printer to your computer network, and from the outset, doing such a thing might sound compelling. For many, a network within their home tends to facilitate their computer, smartphones, tablets, home security, among other things.
Since the printer, in many cases, is less secure on a network; hackers could use it as a gateway to gain access to your computer and other devices. It has happened several times before in the past, so do not believe it’s not common.
Security attacks usually go through the weakest link on a network, so if your printer fits the bill, which is highly likely, then do not have it connected.
2] Be sure to secure your network printer
If for some reason you’ve chosen to add your printer to a network, well, the next step is making sure the network is secured from outside interference. Using a firewall and VPN is the best way!
3] Use physical printer security when possible
From what we’ve gathered, adding a PIN is mostly possible in enterprise printers, but several home devices support this as well. If you have one of those products, then we suggest taking advantage of what this feature has to offer.
With a PIN, it simply means no one can print a document unless they know the special set of numbers. Now, if you live alone, this option might be overkill, but these days one cannot take chances when it comes down to security.
4] Update your printer firmware regularly
One of the best ways to keep your printer secured is to make use of firmware updates. These are not frequent in most cases, but whenever they appear, please take the time out to download and install.
In order to get the firmware, you should visit the website of the printer vendor, or use the special software for your printer to download and install the latest firmware update.
At this moment, firmware updates for third-party devices are not done via Windows Update, but we hope this changes in the future.
5] Add a password to protect remote access
Here’s the thing, several printers these days come with the ability to remotely access the device from anywhere via a web interface. It’s a useful feature no doubt, but it can be a huge problem if someone manages to locate the web interface.
The best option is to add a password for anyone who wants to remotely gain access to your printer. In most cases, this can be done via the security settings of your printer, so have a look to see if the option is there.
If you own an HP printer, then navigate to Settings > Security > Password settings, and that’s it for that.
You should also change the default password of your admin control panel webpage.
6] Secure your printing ports
The standard protocol for secure printing is IPPS protocol via SSL port 443, so leave that open. You may disable the following if you are not using them:
- Ports 515, 721-731, 9100
- IPP on port 631
- SMB protocol.
Finally, always turn off your printer when it’s not in use.