How to prevent your printer from getting hacked


We are all aware that cybercriminals frequently hack into our phones, tablets and computers. Hackers are increasingly looking at alternative technologies for which to hack. It turns out a simple home printer can be the hacker’s key into doing damage to your life.

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A cybercriminal can absolutely hack into your printer and gain access to all the documents you’ve printed from there whether it be an essay or a tax form.

Here are a few signs to look out for that indicate your printer is hacked, and steps you can do to prevent it. Let’s start with how hackers deploy viruses onto printers.

How do printers acquire viruses?

The printer may be infected by a virus through a variety of different methods. One of the ways is through Infected software It is more common for a printer to become infected when it’s connected via a computer, or WiFi network.

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A printer can also be infected by a virus through infected printouts. It means that, if you print an infected document or image from your computer to the printer, it can spread that virus. This is especially true if an infected email attachment or link is opened by a computer that’s connected to your printer.

A printer can also be infected by a virus through an Infected USB drive If you plug in an infected USB drive to your printer, the virus can easily spread. When you connect an infected USB device to your printer, it can spread the virus.

The chances of a device like a smartphone or computer getting a virus are relatively low.

How do I check if my printer was hacked?

Your printer will likely start doing 3 things without your permission if you suspect that it’s been compromised by hackers.

It prints blank pages, or random characters all at once

Printing documents you did not initiate

The settings on your printer have changed when you know you didn’t make them

The majority of printers on the market today are designed to connect to the internet via WiFi. A cybercriminal could infiltrate your WiFi and gain access to your printer or any other device connected to your network. It could be that sensitive information is compromised or stolen.

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Once the data has been retrieved from the printer, the attacker can launch ransomware attacks or send threatening messages via the printer.

What can I to do protect my printer?

You can protect your printer in several ways, depending on its make and model. You should always make sure that you are using the latest version of your printer. Please read the instructions for your printer model. Check to see if there are any security features highlighted.

Update your software

You should be able to go into your printer’s settings and check for any updates or patches for your printer’s firmware and software that need to be installed. Check if the printer you have has any security features, such as encryption, user authentication and access control.

Change your default password

I recommend that you change your printer’s default password immediately to a strong, unique password to help protect against unauthorized access to the device and any sensitive information it may contain, such as print jobs or network credentials. To check if your printer has a default password and how to change it, you can refer to the user manual or the manufacturer’s website for instructions specific to your printer model.

Check your WiFi to ensure it is secure

Use a strong and unique password to protect your Wi-Fi network. You should Always avoid using a WiFi network that is available to the public The following are some examples of how to get started: Be sure to use a VPN-enabled router that is secure Connect to your printer via a Wi-Fi network. Check out my recommendations for the best routers. CyberGuy.com/SecureRouters .

More: How To Check If Someone Is Stealing Your WI-FI And What to Do About It

Disable unneeded features

You may not need or use certain features, like faxing and remote printing. By disabling these functions, you can minimize the chance of your printer being hacked and reduce its attack surface.

Install antivirus software

Installing antivirus software protects you from clicking on malicious links, which would install malware. It will also remove any malware that is already present from your device.

See my expert review of the best antivirus protection for your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices by visiting CyberGuy.com/LockUpYourTech .

Related: Should you use free antivirus?

Install a firewall on your printer and WiFi

Installing a fire wall can protect your printer against unauthorized access. A firewall installed on your WiFi network may attempt to block printing. However, there are steps you can take to configure your firewall’s settings and unblock communication, depending on the server you’re using. Here’s how to install a firewall.

Be sure to check your The router is connected to the modem using an Ethernet cable

Search for your router’s admin control panel (this will vary depending on your model, so you may want to consult your owner’s manual or try inputting the router’s public IP address into the address bar of a web browser)

Look for an entry with the label “Entry” Firewall, SPI Firewall. or something similar

Follow these steps to activate your firewall This is based on the model of your router

You will most likely lose your router Apply the new firewall settings

It’s worth noting that the specific steps may vary depending on the router model and manufacturer. Additionally, some routers may come with a firewall pre-installed and enabled by default, so it’s a good idea to check your router’s settings before attempting to install a new firewall.

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Has your printer ever had its security compromised? Please share your experience with us at CyberGuy.com/Contact.

Subscribe to my CyberGuy Newsletter for more of my tips. CyberGuy.com/Newsletter.

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