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How Security Labels Could Fight Against Counterfeiting

October 28, 2016

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if product label printing could go above and beyond making our merchandise look and sound amazing? Thanks to the future of product labels, this may just be a possibility! Smart labels are already in the works to protect customers from purchasing spoiled food and it sounds like security labels may be next in line.

So, in addition to making your product look amazing, the future of labels could also protect your product against counterfeiting. Labels were originally designed to do one thing—label a product. Now they can do so much more!

The Dangers of Counterfeiting

Label and Narrow Web (L&NW) recently published an article about the ways in which security labels will benefit you, your business, and your customers. First of all, counterfeiting isn’t strictly a financial issue. Stolen or tampered goods have the potential to become dangerous or even deadly if food products are involved.

Tampered food products or food products with faulty packaging may lead to foodborne illness or even death. Tampered cosmetics and personal care products may also lead to health issues if the consumer doesn’t realize that the product has been tampered with.

While health concerns are the most serious complications of counterfeiting, the financials are also concerning. Globally, counterfeited goods amount to an estimated $1.7 trillion. According to L&NW, the United States Department of Homeland Security seized $1.7 billion worth of counterfeit goods at the United States borders’ in 2013 alone.

Some of the most counterfeited products in the US include knockoff handbags, clothing, footwear, sunglasses, optical media, computers, labels/tags, personal care products/pharmaceuticals, watches, and jewelry. As you can see, these types of products cover a wide range of products and industries, so nearly any industry is at risk.

What The Future of Security Labels Means For You

The future of product label printing will dramatically reduce counterfeiting, making it far more difficult to tamper with products, product packaging, and product labels. Security labels will make it more obvious to the end user that the product has been tampered with or isn’t an authentic product.

Security labels will be available in three different types, including overt, covert, and forensic. Overt security labels can be seen with the naked eye and may include holograms or watermarks. Covert labels will be harder to detect and will require special types of equipment to locate or read the hidden technology, which may include fluorescent markets, tamper-proof labeling, and infrared inks. 

Forensic labels will provide the highest level of security and may require laboratory equipment to analyze. They may include chemical agents or biological DNA.

While certain types of security labels do already exist, they are not completely tamper-proof and are relatively easy to duplicate. For example, clothing tags can easily be ripped or clipped from the clothing item and many QR codes can be hacked or copied. The future of security labels will certainly change all of that.

Although labels are not yet completely tamper-proof, SheetLabels is able to offer you a wide selection of high-quality labels for any of your labeling projects. Learn more about the markets we serve and contact us for any of your product label printing needs!

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