When discussing ID card security, the focus is usually on the credential itself. Things like holographic foils and UV printing are used to prevent counterfeiting, and blank cards are stored securely to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
However, there’s an area of ID card security that’s often overlooked, one that could put all of your printed data at risk: used printer ribbons.
Why are used printer ribbons a security threat?
When you print an ID card with a direct-to-card or reverse-transfer printer, the printer ribbon is basically used to press an imprint onto the surface of the card. After they’re used, these once-blank ribbon panels will contain what are essentially duplicate images of whatever was printed on the card surface.
This means that with a little effort, a scammer could pick up your discarded printer ribbons and read the data that was printed on the cards. This data could be anything from names, photos and job titles to credit card numbers and account numbers — not the kind of data you want falling into the wrong hands.
Faced with choosing between cumbersome methods of destruction (like burning them) or simply tossing the ribbons and hoping for the best, most organizations are opting for the latter.
SMART-BIT: A fast, effective shredder for printer ribbons
The SMART-BIT from IDP® uses a pretty simple method to eliminate concerns about printer ribbons being used for illegitimate purposes: it shreds them into thousands of tiny pieces!
The SMART-BIT uses IDP’s Twisted Micro-Cut technology and a series of razor-sharp blades to shred printer ribbon panels into pieces that are mere millimeters in size — pieces so small that even the world’s foremost expert in jigsaw puzzles wouldn’t be able to cobble a panel back together!
While the SMART-BIT is made by printer manufacturer IDP, it’s capable of handling ribbons from all of the major printer manufacturers. Unlike other ribbon shredders, which simply feed the ribbon into an existing paper shredder, the SMART-BIT is an all-in-one solution: it features a feeder tray, the shredder and a waste bin to catch the shreds.
With shredding speeds of up to 65 feet per minute and removable waste bags that make clean-up a breeze, it’s never been easier to securely dispose of your used printer ribbons.
Specifications for the SMART-BIT printer ribbon shredder
|Shreddable ribbon types||Reverse transer, direct to card, dye sublimation, resin, wax*|
|Shreddable ribbon width||2.36″ to 3.54″ (60mm to 80mm)|
|Shredding speed||65 feet per minute (80m per minute)|
|Shredder bin capacity||6 rolls of 250-print-per-roll ribbons|
|Cutting type||Twisted Micro Cut|
|Shredded particle size||Approximately 0.10″ (2.5mm)|
|Control||Speed (Normal or Fast), Start & Stop, Reverse|
|Interface||4 LEDs, 3 buttons|
|Warranty||Approximately 62 miles of ribbon (100km)|
|Dimensions & weight||9.1″ x 14.4″ x 15.2″ (232mm x 364.6mm x 386mm), 11 lbs|
*Please note that the SMART-BIT is not approved for shredding laminate ribbons. These ribbons contain an adhesive-like material that causes the SMART-BIT to jam and can damage the cutting blades.