Securing documents during the print release process
🔎 Find this feature in the admin interface: Configure > Print Security > During Printing > Secure Print Release
The beauty of PaperCut Pocket and Hive is that it allows your users to print to a single ‘printer’ - the PaperCut Printer. Forget having to choose a printer and then discovering that the printer is either out of toner or someone’s printing the full Monty Python scripts for the next 3 days. Your users can print to the PaperCut Printer and then use any of the Secure Print Release methods to release their print job at whichever printer is most convenient!
What’s even better about this? They can then choose to change certain things about the print job, right before releasing the job. Did they print it single-sided and realize that it was meant to be printed in duplex to save some paper? Or maybe they just printed a draft doc and don’t need it to be printed in color - if so the user can change it in the mobile app when you release your print job. Cool hey?
When a user prints to the PaperCut Printer, the client software sends the job securely to a number of Edge Nodes (check out the Edge Mesh and Edge Nodes section if you’re hungry for even more detail about this). The print job then waits, securely encrypted on a number of these Edge Nodes. When the user walks up to the lucky printer and releases their print job, the cloud connects the dots and tells an Edge Node to print their document(s) to the printer that they’re standing next to - along with any other changes they made, like converting the job to duplex or grayscale! Simple.
There are a number of different ways to let your users release their jobs - and you can mix ‘n match these according to your users’ needs.
|List||The ‘List’ option lets the user view a list of printers through the mobile app, and they can pick which printer they want to release their print job to. It can be more challenging if there are a lot of printers to choose from, but it can be handy if they regularly print huge documents where they actually want to release the print job while they’re running down the corridor! Human vs Machine…The flip side to this is that someone could pick the wrong printer or then forget to pick up their printed documents, so it’s one of the less secure methods available.|
|QR Code||You’ve seen them everywhere from coffee shops to sell-out shows at the football stadium. Print out a set of labels for your printers (in the admin interface, head into Configure > Easy Printing > Administrators > Printer ID Labels to do this through the simple wizard!) and then attach them to all of your printers.Users then just walk up to the printer, open their mobile app, and scan the QR Code - then out pops their print job! No guessing at printer names and no having to touch the machine keypad or screen.|
|Code||Similar to the QR Code above, this is a unique code for your printer that can be printed out and attached to the printer. In the admin interface, hop into the Configure > Easy Printing > Administrators > Printer ID Labels area to do this through the simple wizard.Users then walk up to the printer, open their mobile app, and type in the printer code to release their print job. It’s a win for cleanliness too, since you don’t have to touch the device at all!|
|NFC||A futuristic version of the QR Code - you can purchase programmable NFC stickers, program them with the printer code and attach them to the printers.Users then walk up to the printer, open their mobile app, and scan the NFC sticker. Quicker than you can say Near Field Communication, your print job will pop out.|
Once they have logged into the PaperCut Hive app on the device, they’ll see their list of print jobs and they can choose which ones to print. As with the mobile app, they can also choose whether to change the number of copies to print, or convert the job to duplex or grayscale too!
If you’re eager to use the Code or QR Code release control methods available, then at some point you’ll need to (ironically) print some printer labels. You can use the simple label wizard in the admin console to help you do this.
The labels can be customized and will show:
- QR Code
- Printer Code (numeric)
- Printer Name
- Optional message
To print out your printer labels, head into the admin console and navigate to Configure > Easy Printing > Administrators > Printer ID Labels. The wizard will produce a document for printing that has a label for every printer that you have published, including the printer ID, unique QR Code, and any customized message that you’ve specified.
If you’re interested in using the NFC release method, the first step is to get yourself some programmable NFC stickers. Note that your printer(s) might have already come with a built-in solution. If so, it’s worth checking with your printer manufacturer if there is a way to program your device’s NFC.
It’s also worth noting here that a lot of devices have NFC, but they are programmed only to read swipe cards or phone NFC chips. For example, when you walk up with your security card and hold it close to the card reader, the reader is scanning the card’s NFC chip.
With an NFC sticker, what you’ll be doing is programming the sticker with a particular URL - then when the user walks up and opens their mobile app, the phone reads the NFC sticker code and the app tells the cloud which printer to release the user’s print jobs to.
A quick search on popular websites will show all kinds of solutions for programmable stickers that you can use for this purpose. When programming the NFC sticker, you can find the URL that you need to configure under Configure > Printers > [select the printer] > Details > NFC.
Do users have to use their phone to release their print job?
If you’re using PaperCut Pocket, the answer is yes. To keep things secure, and to save waste, the user has to release their job through the mobile app. They can also use it for time-saving tricks like increasing the number of copies or changing their print job to two-sided if they forgot to do it when printing.
If you’re using PaperCut Hive, users can use the Hive MFD app at the device - logging directly into the device and releasing their print job with no mobile app involvement at all.
We already have QR Codes on our printers for inventory tracking. Can we re-use them for Pocket and Hive?
Can I use the NFC reader in the printer with the NFC release method?
Probably not - the NFC reader included with a printer is normally for reading an NFC tag/sticker, or your security card with an embedded NFC chip. For PaperCut Pocket and Hive, the mobile app is the reader, and needs to read the NFC tag on the printer.
Check out the More about NFC stickers section above for more ideas on NFC antics!
If I have an Android phone, can I use 'native' NFC scanning?
Absolutely! What this means is that you don’t have to open the Pocket or Hive mobile app to be able to scan the NFC tag - it saves a bit of time! Unfortunately this is an Android-only feature at the moment, but here’s how you enable it if it isn’t already working:
- On your Android device, open the Settings menu
- Navigate to Apps > Application List > PaperCut Pocket or PaperCut Hive > Open by default
- For the Open supported links item, select Open in this app
- Scan the NFC tag on the printer to try it out!
What if I forget to release my print job and then remember the next day. Will it still be there?
It depends. Your IT Administrator can set a job-removal time / job-deletion timeout for your organization, so if they have set this to 2 hours, you’ll be out of luck. Have a chat with your friendly IT admin if you’re finding this timeout to be consistently too low, and see if there’s room for increasing it.
If you’re the SysAdmin looking to change this, you can find this setting under Configure > Print Security > During Printing > Secure Print Release > Job removal.
Can I print from my phone if I’m not on the WiFi connection?
Can I release my print job from my phone if I’m not on the WiFi connection?
Yes! Your phone can chat to the cloud over your cell connection, and you can release your print job in exactly the same way as you would normally.
However, if the reason you’re using a cell connection is that your organization’s network is down, then there might be other issues with getting the job to the printer if there is no network!
How do I get a ‘High’ security score?
I know right?! The badge of security is just calling out to be filled up to the top to show your security achievement. We’ll let you play around with options to get the best mix, but a couple of things to keep in mind are:
- Using List as a release option will lower your score. This option means that someone could be releasing their print job to any printer in the building, from the comfort of their desk. Meanwhile someone else could be noticing their print job coming out of the machine, and making off with it!
- Using Watermarking or Digital Signatures will also increase your security score since you’re using features for the physical document security. Nicely done!
- Using a lower timeout for your jobs will increase your security score. The less time potentially-confidential jobs are hanging around, the better!