Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Security Seals

A Guide to Ensuring Seals Effectiveness

Security seals are a crucial tool for safeguarding goods during transportation and storage. They provide visible evidence of tampering and help deter theft and unauthorized access. However, to maximize their effectiveness, it’s important to use security seals correctly and avoid common mistakes that can compromise their integrity.

In this guide, we’ll highlight some of these common mistakes and provide insights on how to avoid them.

1. Choosing the Wrong Seal Type

Selecting the right seal type for your specific application is essential. Choosing the wrong seal can lead to inadequate security or impractical use. Each industry and scenario may require a different type of seal, whether it’s bolt seals for shipping containers or plastic seals for bags. Take into account factors such as the level of security needed, the type of container, and environmental conditions.

2. Incorrect Application

Improperly applying security seals can render them ineffective. Ensure that the seal is securely fastened through the designated opening or closure. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper placement and locking. Failure to apply seals correctly can result in easy tampering or accidental removal.

3. Over-Tightening or Under-Tightening

Balancing the tightness of the seal is crucial. Over-tightening can weaken the seal’s strength or lead to breakage, while under-tightening makes the seal vulnerable to tampering. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the appropriate level of tension for the specific seal type.

4. Ignoring Tamper-Evident Features

Tamper-evident features are a security seal’s primary defense against tampering. Failing to inspect or recognize these features compromises the seal’s effectiveness. Educate yourself and your staff on how to identify signs of tampering, such as color changes, visible tool marks, or broken seal components.

5. Neglecting Regular Inspections

Regular inspections of secured shipments are crucial. Failing to periodically check seals during transit or storage can result in undetected tampering. Implement a systematic inspection process to ensure that seals remain intact and show no signs of interference.

6. Using Compromised Seals

Reusing compromised or damaged seals undermines security. If a seal has been broken or tampered with, replace it with a new one. Do not assume that a broken seal can still provide protection, as it may have been compromised.

7. Inadequate Record Keeping

Maintaining accurate records of seal numbers, application dates, and recipients is essential for accountability and traceability. In the event of a security breach or dispute, proper record-keeping helps identify when and where the breach occurred.

8. Disregarding Manufacturer Guidelines

Manufacturers provide specific guidelines for their security seals, including proper application, tension, and handling. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to seal failure or reduced effectiveness. Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommendations and ensure that your team follows them consistently.

9. Neglecting Supply Chain Education

Educating your supply chain partners about the importance of security seals and proper handling is vital. If any party in the supply chain is unaware of security protocols, the effectiveness of the seals can be compromised.

10. Not Staying Updated

Security seal technology and best practices evolve over time. Failing to stay updated on the latest advancements and industry standards can lead to using outdated or less effective seals.


Avoiding these common mistakes ensures that security seals fulfill their intended purpose effectively. By selecting the right seal type, applying them correctly, inspecting regularly, and following manufacturer guidelines, you enhance the security of your shipments and maintain the integrity of your goods throughout their journey. Diligence in seal usage contributes to a secure supply chain and peace of mind for both businesses and customers.