An often overlooked aspect of printer ownership is security of the media in the printer paper trays. Many businesses and organizations simply load the paper trays with paper and forget about it until the printer runs out of paper and signals for them to add more paper.
What they may not consider is how often the printer paper is depleted – perhaps it’s not going through the printer but is instead removed from the paper trays by unauthorized persons. It only takes seconds for someone to walk up to a printer or copier and remove media from unlocked paper trays. Besides the obvious monetary losses as a result of paper theft, there are other issues to consider such as fraud that results from theft of official forms used in printers.
There are specific businesses and organizations that seem to be more at risk to theft from paper trays and I will address these one at a time.
The first area we will review is higher education. In most institutions of higher learning there are multiple printers located around the campus for use by students and faculty members. These printers are typically equipped with costly card scanners or other electronic controls to keep track of printing expenses so the persons using the printers can be charged for their use.
What these electronic controls do not address is simple theft of paper from the printers. The costs can be high – even for plain bond paper – add expensive card stock or other specialty papers to the mix and losses can go through the roof! An institution with 100 printers on campus that each loses 50 sheets/day through theft will suffer the loss of 10 reams of paper per week!
The second area of concern is the healthcare market, which includes hospitals, clinics, teaching universities, and local medical offices. These organizations use tamper-resistant prescription paper, required by Medicaid since 2008. Not only is this type paper very expensive, it is particularly attractive to persons trying to commit fraud by using this paper to create counterfeit scripts. Healthcare providers are required to keep these types of tamper-resistant paper secure, yet they are susceptible to theft by anyone with a few seconds to open a paper tray.
The third area we will review is the financial market. Banks, stockbrokers, financial planners or anyone who prints checks using MICR checks should be concerned about theft of blank checks. Typically checks are loaded into the printer tray when checks are printed, then removed and stored in a secure drawer or file cabinet until the next time checks are printed. By installing paper tray locks on the printer paper trays, check stock may be kept in the printer, thus avoiding the hassle of loading and unloading check stock throughout the day.
There are several sources of paper tray locks on the market. It is important to work with a company that can provide high quality products as well as technical support. Most locks are easy to install yet provide a secure solution to meet your unique requirements!