Card Printing Tips & Advice

Beginners Guide to Used Card Printer Ribbon Data (Part Three)


In parts one and two, we explained what used card printer ribbon data is and why it is a risk to any business printing photo ID cards. We also looked at the most common ways that businesses currently dispose of used card printer ribbons, and why it might be time for a rethink.

In the final post of this series, you’re going to learn:

  • Why you should protect your used card printer ribbon data
  • Identifying the best products for the secure and instant disposal of used card printer ribbons

Included is also a bonus review of the new IDP Smart BIT Ribbon Shredder – the only product currently on the market that instantly disposes of used printer ribbon data.

Why Should You Protect Your Used Card Printer Ribbon Data?

It’s rare that you will be stood by your ID card printer throughout the whole working day and in many organisations, the printer will be left unattended.

This is when your card printer ribbons and data are at the most risk.

What’s stopping somebody from walking up to your printer and simply removing the ribbon straight from the machine?

It is now becoming more and more apparent that ID card printers need security of their own, so manufacturers are releasing GDPR enhanced printers to help reduce security breaches.

Not only do they allow you to print outstanding quality cards, but they also come with security features, enabling your organisation to remain secure against a data breach.

The next section of the post looks specifically at three individual machines that will keep ribbon data secure whil printing.

Top 3 ID Card Printers to Protect Used Ribbon Data:

IDP Smart 51 GDPR Secure

The IDP Smart 51 Secure takes card printing security to the next level. This ID card printer comes with GDPR enhanced security features, not yet found on any other card printer.

The Smart 51 Secure not only has an input card hopper lock to keep printed cards safe but it also has a ribbon lock.

This ensures used card printer ribbons remain secure if the printer is left unattended. Nobody can see the confidential data or even get access to the ribbon.

Alongside this, it also has a Kensington lock feature that allows you to attach the printer to a desk or piece of furniture, decreasing the risk of theft.

This means that nobody could steal the printer or have access to the data left on the ribbon.

IDP Smart 51 ID card printer

Learn more about the IDP Smart 51 Secure ID card printer.

Magicard Rio Pro 360 Secure

The Magicard Rio Pro 360 Secure was purposefully built for anyone concerned about the impact GDPR has on ID card printing.

It features a lockable input hopper to securely hold blank cards, and a secondary lock to stop the printer being opened. This is where the ribbon is kept, keeping it safe and ensuring no unauthorised access is given.

This secondary lock also secures the output hopper so no printed cards can be stolen.

Similar to the Smart 51 Secure, the Rio Pro 360 Secure also has a locking port on the base to attach it to a fixed location, eliminating the risk of printer theft.

Magicard Rio Pro 360 Secure ID card printer

Learn more about the Magicard Rio Pro 360 Secure ID card printer.

Fargo DTC1500

The Fargo DTC1500 handles security a little differently.

The DTC1500 doesn’t have any locking features but the unique resin scramble feature hides important information on the resin panel, making it unreadable.

So, for example, if you’re printing a unique employee ID number that needs to remain secure, once printed, the printer will ensure that the data on the resin panel is covered and completely unreadable, as shown below.

This means that in the event of the printer being stolen or the ribbon cartridge removed, users still have the peace of mind that their data is completely unreadable.

Learn more about the Fargo DTC1500 ID card printer.

These three printers ensure data remains secure until the ribbon must be disposed of.

If we now look specifically at the best way to instantly destroy used card printer ribbons, then we have the perfect solution for you, the IDP Smart BIT Ribbon Shredder.

IDP Smart BIT Ribbon Shredder

IDP Smart BIT Ribbon Shredder

The IDP Smart BIT ribbon shredder is the only printer ribbon shredder of its kind. It provides a secure way of instantly disposing of used printer ribbons, eliminating any confidential data left on these ribbons.

The compact design allows you to shred in-house, eliminating all issues involving a 3rd party confidential waste service.

It’s that good we had to record a short review video allowing you to see this for yourself.

Now, we could list all the features on offer, but nobody wants to read about that, instead, you want to know what benefits you will receive:

Tiny Unrecognisable Particles

The Smart BIT shreds the ribbon into tiny unrecognisable particles, making it impossible to read. Anyone attempting to look at the data left on the printer ribbons won’t be able to decipher the pieces so they are safe to be put in the bin.

Complete Compatibility

Compatible with all ID card printer ribbon manufacturers, any ribbon can be shredded, so there’s no excuse for not properly disposing of your ribbons.

60 Second Set-Up

 The Smart BIT takes only 60 seconds to set up and once ready, just press play and the machine does the rest, allowing you to get on with other jobs.

There are two-speed options for faster shredding, and the auto-stop feature automatically stops the machine once the ribbon is fully shredded.

Learn more about the IDP Smart BIT Ribbon Shredder.

What To Do Next?

Through these three blog posts, we hope we have shown you just how crucial it is to take care of these used ribbons and how to dispose of them in a proper, secure manner.

It’s not worth putting your whole organisation at risk over a card printer ribbon.

If you wish to review your current card printer security, or to find out more about any of the printers and machines found in this guide then our team will be happy to help.

Please call us direct on 0800 988 2095 or email us at

Adam Bennet
Adam has been the Digital Marketing Manager here at Digital ID since 2015. Adam is in charge of the content creation and promotion on our blog and has been featured on sites like Entrepreneur, Talk-Business and Brighter Business to name a few. See what he gets up to in the office by following him on Twitter @adamjbenno.

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