Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Secure Printing

Remember this scene?  (See )

The convenience of printing the 16-page syllabus or that 9-page test, double-sided, collated, three-hole punched, and stapled altered the lives of every teacher who started in the mimeograph days.  Giving up the smell of the duplicating inks was a fair trade for the time saved from collating and stapling those collections.

Printing security was never a problem then, though.  Nothing was duplicated until the teacher or office staff ran the machine.  The duplicator was typically in a restricted area accessible only by authorized personnel or the few highly trusted office aides.  Staff waited (rather impatiently on a Monday morning) for his or her turn at the duplicator.

A modern problem of keeping print jobs secured, especially those jobs of a confidential nature, has a solution called locked print on our Ricoh multi-function printers (MFP).  When used, the print job is sent to the MFP but stored on the hard drive until the sender enters a password on the MFP's control panel.  Locked print jobs provide a level of confidentiality that is tough to beat.

Locked print jobs bring a level of convenience to the printing situation.  The user determines exactly when the print process occurs--exactly at the moment the user enters the passcode at the control panel.  When print jobs are immediately printed before the sender arrives at the MFP, they are at the mercy of the MFP status or someone standing at the device making copies.  Out-of-paper situations can delay the print job for hours or result in the print job being deleted by the person who fills the paper trays or clears a paper jam.  The semester final that took hours to create could "accidentally" end up in the trash by an irritated copier user bumped in the middle of a stressful copy job by the print job sent over the network.

Such "accidents" are good examples of how locked print jobs are also a professional consideration of others using the same MFP.  The locked print job is essentially queued and waiting the sender's passcode; it doesn't rudely bump ahead of someone already at the MFP.

Consider setting up locked print for all the print jobs sent to any ESSD MFP.  The instructions are found on pages 6 - 10 of the ESSD Print and Copy User Guide available here.  The print job you save, may be your own.

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