How to Successfully Print Waterproof Labels

Whether for personal or business, there are a number of reasons why you might need waterproof labels. Waterproof labels are used for items stored outdoors, indoors for moist environments and other purposes. However, while printing your own waterproof labels is quite easy, there are a few things that should never be overlooked.

Is Everything Waterproof?

Although this may seem like a no-brainer, forgetting to ensure that everything is waterproof is something forgotten by many who print waterproof labels.

All elements of the label being created must be waterproof. This includes whatever material your labels are made of, as well as the label’s adhesive and the ink printed onto the label itself.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

A word about waterproofing: if printing labels using an inkjet printer, it’s important to mention that your labels will be more water-resistant than they are waterproof. This is because the ink used in inkjet printers is not waterproof. However, if the intent is to print water-resistant labels with an inkjet printer, then using vinyl labels will definitely increase the ink’s resistance to water. How? Vinyl label sheets are coated with an ‘ink locking’ substance.

When using vinyl labels with an inkjet printer, it’s important to ensure that the balance between amount of water-proofing topcoat and amount of ink used is as even as possible. Using too much ink with not enough top coat will result in bleeding when the label comes in contact with moisture. However, there are ways to ensure that vinyl labels printed with an ink jet printer are genuinely waterproof.

Solutions for Waterproofing Inkjet Labels

One of the easiest ways to ensure your inkjet labels are waterproof is to consult the settings for your printer. Looking in the advanced settings, you will notice that the media types being printed on can be adjusted. You can adjust them by going to the settings, or by navigating to them once you’ve hit “Print”. Premium or high-quality paper should be chosen.

Turning down the rate at which ink is applied to a label media can also make for a better waterproof label. This setting can also be changed by navigating to the advanced features in your printer settings, or when you hit the “Print” button.

Cold Water Rinse

Labels with a lot of ink-intensive graphics may require rinsing. After printing as usual, simply allow the sheet to sit for several minutes, and then rinse it under cold water. This will ensure that any ink not locked into the label material is washed away; leaving you with a bleed-free sheet whose ink has been locked into the vinyl.

Seal It Yourself

Your waterproof label sheet will have its own top coat of seal. However, you can also add your own coat for extra waterproofing. This comes in handy if your label will be used outdoors, such as for a bumper sticker, or in moist conditions. There are sprays available at craft stores, and all that’s required is a quick spray to cover the entire surface.

Check Adhesives Too

Although waterproof labels include adhesive that is also waterproof, it is best to confirm this before purchasing to avoid having to return to buy labels with the proper adhesive.

Usually, using a laser printer to print labels won’t present any issues. Laser printers burn ink into the media being used for printing. As well, the ink used in laser printers is not water-based. When printing labels on a laser printer, choosing polyester labels is best.

Taking the time to ensure that all elements of your labels are waterproof before you make your purchase cans result in a stress-free label printing experience.

Asset Tag, Or Barcode Label?

When considerbarcode taging the right security labels for your application, you will be faced with two choices: the asset tag, or the barcode label. Each has its advantages, but which label type is right for you?

There are many different products that fall under the barcode label definition. Barcode labels actually make up an incredibly large part of the market today, and can be seen on virtually every product we buy.

But in general, the bar code label communicates data in a machine-readable, fast and virtually error-free way. When a bar code label is scanned, a data set is revealed, or it references some sort of content located in a central database. But that’s the only use for barcode labels.

Barcode labels are used in the mailing industry to track all manner of items, whether it is stock on pallets in a store, containers in a warehouse or an envelope or parcel being delivered to a home or office.

Barcode labels can also be used to organise things like inventory in a warehouse, items located on racks or shelves, and even items that may be sold on a showroom floor.

The central database access that barcode labels contain can also be used in offices where there are many folders or files. From that central database, information about the location, date and time of modification and other attributes of files and folders can be revealed.

The fact that bar codes can be so easily read and information so quickly revealed make them ideal for environments where commercial or retail products need to be or tend to be sold quickly.

Asset Tags
In situations where valuable property needs to be tracked, asset tags can provide a secure method of doing so. The tracking and securing of asset tags occurs via an asset management system. Commonly-tracked items include:

  • Fixed machinery;
  • Tools;
  • Vehicles and construction machinery;
  • Medical equipment, computers and electronics;
  • Office furniture.

Asset tags can also be used to track property information like a description of the item, where it is located, what kind of condition it’s in, service records and similar information.

Physical Differences of Labels and Tags
Where bar code security labels are often pressed down onto an object, a tag will normally attach to an item via a ring and dangle loosely. However, the asset tag is a little bit different. These too are usually pressed to an item’s surface.

Due to reasons of efficiency and economy, most bar code labels are inexpensive as well as lightweight. In an indoor office environment, barcode labels are usually printed onto paper with an adhesive backing. These types of barcode are not intended for long-term use.

The asset tag, however, is of a more permanent nature. Because they are used to secure and identify property, asset tags must be able to withstand the weather, as well as any upset due to transportation or inventory.

Ease of Creation
The bar code label can be printed from virtually anywhere using software as simple as a word processing programme. Of course, there are more advanced options available that allow for more complex barcodes to be printed.

The asset tag must last over the long term, and as such, must be printed on a more durable material, usually aluminium or polyester. Some asset tags contain images for greater security, which are embedded in the tag’s material itself.

The tag you choose will depend entirely on what is being labelled, and how secure that labelling needs to be.

Is Your Printer Giving Hackers A Way In?

Most people dprinteron’t expect their printer to be a doorway for hackers. And in the old days, they would have been correct. Older printers used to connect to only one computer at a time via a parallel port. It wasn’t until later when USB came into the picture that the connection between printer and computer became easier to make.

Networked printing became the next big thing, with several computers in an office using a single printer for documents. Essentially, network printing transformed the printer into a computer-like device. Moreover, while this did offer a lot of convenience, those computer-like features also meant that a printer could get a virus, just as its traditional computer counterpart could.

Today, a printer is much more than just that. It can scan, copy and fax as well. This increased sophistication has led to more vulnerability. Today, anyone can print wirelessly using Wi-Fi technology. Wi-Fi allows a printer to communicate with Internet-connected devices like smartphones and laptops, and even connect to the internet themselves.

How the Wireless Printer Can Pose a Risk

Wi-Fi is certainly convenient. But it also has a dark side. When using Wi-Fi, anyone within a certain range of the signal can also use that signal. In the case of a wireless printer, anyone can access the connection to print documents. While the thought of losing ink and paper may not be a threatening one, consider that the individual would also be able to see the past, present and future jobs that are sitting in the print queue. All a hacker needs is access to a printer, and they can hack into the operating system of that printer to view the potentially sensitive security labels and other documents stored within.
As well, documents can be intercepted en-route from a computer or device to the printer via the Wi-Fi connection. What’s worse, if a printer has the capability to connect to the internet directly where embedded web servers await, and those servers are not properly secured, disaster could ensue.

Securing the Modern Printer

There are, thankfully, several ways to ensure that any wirelessly-connected printer is secure. One important suggestion is regularly to update the software associated with the printer. As mentioned earlier, an internet-capable printer can be just as vulnerable as a computer or router. It’s also important to install any patches as soon as they are released by the manufacturer.
Some printers allow printing directly from the printer’s RAM, or random access memory. This is a far more secure option, as once a print job has been completed, it can be erased immediately. As well, doing this means the printer’s internal hard drive is bypassed, foiling hackers.

Any network printers will need to have their permissions set so that control over who is and isn’t allowed to manage and send print jobs can be set. Although there is an option to allow everyone to do anything, choosing this is strongly discouraged.

You may also wish to consider disabling any reprint functions, which allow the same document to be printed any number of times.
Those printers with their Wi-Fi capability enabled will need to be protected with the proper level of security, which is WPA2 and not WEP.
You can also choose to track print jobs by date, time and even username, so that you know who has been printing documents and when.

Many of today’s printers include several security features, thanks to manufacturers becoming more aware of the risks associated with wireless printing. So it may pay to investigate these if the purchase of a new printer is in the budget.

These Label Types Can Enhance the Security of Your Business

security labelsVirtually every business owner has experienced some loss of product in some form or another. In fact, product loss costs businesses millions of dollars annually. Tampering, shoplifting and counterfeiting can make the tracking and managing of inventory a nightmare for business owners.

Luckily, in these modern times, business owners have the option of employing a very clever defence: added security in the form of labels. These tamper-evident stickers can be placed anywhere and provide both the business and its customers with peace-of-mind.

Holographic Labels

One of the more impressive label types used by business owners is the holographic label. These labels are self-destructive. Once the sticker has been peeled, it can no longer be used on any other item. Many business owners choose holographic labels for their versatility. Not only do they prevent losses, but they can also be made with the company logo on them. Holographic labels can also be created to be resistant to the elements, making them a good choice for a broad range of indoor and outdoor applications.

Barcode Labels

It’s likely that you’ve seen the barcode labels on most products in the store. However, did you know that the barcode contains much more than just information about the product? This common security label type allows for large numbers of that product to be tracked thanks to the optical data it contains. This optical data can be read by a scanning machine or image software, unless it has been tampered with in some way or removed entirely.

Metalon Labels

This type of label can often be seen on computers, printers, projectors and similar products. The Metalon label looks as though it is made of metal, but is constructed of a polyester vinyl material. This type of label can be printed in a wide range of styles, and can contain sequential numbering for unique product identification. This makes it ideal in environments where several similar types of equipment are present, such as in an office having several computers.

Vinyl Labels

Where the goal is to ensure the security of products inside containers, the vinyl label is a good choice. This type of label is visible on everything from cookie tins to eyeliner. Should the vinyl label be ripped or removed, it indicates instantly that the product has been tampered with in some way. For personal products like lipstick, the vinyl label is an excellent way to ensure the safety of the customer.

Stretch Labels

Made of polyethylene, the stretch label contains a high-tack adhesive as well as stretch capability. The latter makes the stretch label the ideal application where some movement of the product is expected due to shipping or frequent handling.

A wide range of techniques is required in order to manufacture and print the specialised labels mentioned above. Unfortunately, unless your business has the capability to produce one or more of these security label types, you will have to search for a company experienced in their manufacture. The cost to have these labels printed for your business depend on several factors, including the number of labels needed, the type of product needing to be secured and how the product will be handled.

Regardless of the kind of label you choose for the products offered by your business, there’s no doubt that today’s security label offers much more in the way of preventing product loss than their ancestors did. That can save your business a lot of money in the long run, as well as put you in a favourable light with your insurance company should theft of your products occur.