Many individuals are concerned about their computers being hacked. However, they aren’t very concerned about someone hacking into their wireless printer. The majority of people only sometimes utilize this tool. For instance, when you need to print shipping labels or tax documents.
Printers frequently go unnoticed and unremembered. Up to the point when you need to print anything and your ink runs out. Well, hackers still think about them occasionally. In actuality, unprotected printers are a well-known method for crooks to enter a home network.
Cybernews deliberately compromised printers in order to prove their case. Nearly 28,000 unprotected printers were worldwide taken over by it. There was a 56% success rate. What did it do after getting inside? Funny enough, it caused the printers to print out a guide on printer security.
Are you wondering how exposed your network is from your printer? We’ve got some security tips below to help. These tips can enable you to better secure your network, which keeps data on all devices more secure.
Table of Contents
1. Change the Default Login Credentials
A new printer will probably come with default data when you purchase it. Your gadget may be connected to and configured thanks to the manufacturers. Usually, default login information is used.
Change that information right away during setup. Hackers make advantage of a comprehensive collection of these settings. They just keep trying them all until they find a hit after plugging it into an automatic script. Change them, and make sure your password is strong.
2. Keep Printer Firmware Updated
The security of your printer depends on keeping the firmware updated. Just like computers, software, and apps, hardware need upgrading. These upgrades frequently include crucial security patches.
Software updates are frequently more noticeable than firmware changes. Most OS and software updates notify you via a popup window. Updates to the firmware and drivers that power printers, however, are less obvious.
You may check for firmware upgrades in some of the following locations:
- the utility app on a linked device from the PC maker
- The display screen for the printer
- A PC with the manufacturer’s printer program loaded
3. Use a Network Firewall
To ensure traffic monitoring, a network firewall is crucial. With the use of firewalls, you can prevent hackers from accessing your network. You should set up the firewall to keep an eye on both inbound and outbound printer traffic.
4. Put Your Printer on a Guest Network
The majority of modern home routers let you create a guest network. The same router that powers your primary network also powers this additional Wi-Fi. Hackers have a more difficult time moving across networks.
Security is increased by separating a less secure gadget from computers and phones. From devices connected to a different network, you can still print to your printer. Just make sure everything is set up properly. Let us know if you need assistance with it if you do.
5. Disable Unused Ports or Services
IoT equipment, like printers, can offer several connection options. All the ports and services that come with your printer might not be necessary for you. These ports are potential entry points for hackers.
Any ports and sharing features that you don’t use should be disabled. This lowers the chance of a breach.
6. Unplug It When Not in Use
Home printers often receive less use than office printers. They might only be used a few times a year or once a month by individuals. Unplug your printer while not in use if you don’t use it regularly.
Unplugging the gadget is one definite approach to deny a hacker access. There is absolutely no access when it is turned down.
7. Teach Your Family Cybersecurity Best Practices
One of the devices on your network is your printer. Most households have many gadgets connected to their home WiFi. There were 22 connected gadgets on average in each American household in 2022.
Families must understand and practice healthy online behavior. This increases the security of everyone’s data. Additionally, it aids in preventing costly identity theft breaches. or the appropriation of objects like baby monitors.
Following some typical recommended practices can ensure you have good cyber hygiene:
- Use secure passwords at all times. (consisting of a minimum of 10–12 characters and a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols)
- Update the software and firmware on your devices.
- If feasible, use multi-factor authentication
- activate device firewalls and other safeguards
- A reliable antivirus program should be installed on all devices.
- Never use a link you get through email to log into an account.
Get Some Help Keeping Your Family’s Data Secure
IT specialists don’t just assist companies. We also assist families in ensuring the security & efficiency of their gadgets & data.