Definitions

A dictionary of common ID Security Online terms.



Terms and Definitions

 
32-Bit
In computing terms 32-bit refers to the amount of data that the computer can access directly. In the case of a 32-bit processor this is 4 gigabyte of memory.
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64-Bit
In computing terms 64-bit refers to the amount of data that the computer can access directly. In the case of a 64-bit processor this is 4 petabytes of memory. Due to memory limitations, current processors do not have access to that amount of RAM.
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Access Control
A system which has the authority to deny or grant access to either a physical location or computer based information system. Most commonly plastic cards via magnetic stripes or a smart card is used.
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Barcode
The barcode is the most widely recognized form of encoding. Cards using barcodes are encoded at the time of printing and requires no additional encoding method. There are several types of barcodes available. The first is called 1d. 1d barcodes consist of a single row of bars and convey very small amounts of data. The second style of the barcode is 2d. 2d barcodes appear as a matrix of square dots and house a considerable amount more of information (about 500 bytes) than its 1d counterpart.
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Batch Processing
Batch processing is the ability to run a series of printings without manual intervention. A print job is sent to the printers queue where it is then executed.
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Biometrics
The process for uniquely recognizing humans based on physical traits. The most common methods for biometrics are finger print scans and eyeball scans.  Biometrics is used to grant or deny access to systems.
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Blank Cards
Cards that have not been printed on yet. Blank cards are usually loaded in a hopper before being printed on.
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Byte
A byte is the basic unit of information in computing. A byte consists of 8 bits of information. A megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes. A gigabyte is 1,073,741,824 bytes. Most commonly today data is expressed in gigabytes.
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Card Reader
A device that reads the encoded information from a smart card and relays that information to a computer system. 
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Chip
In reference to ID cards, a chip is a card with an embedded circuit. Information is stored on the circuit that grants or denies access to systems.
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Cleaning Rollers
Cleaning rollers ensure that the card is dust and dirt free before going through the printing process.  This ensures your cards look and that your critical printing components stay clean.
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Contact Smart Card
This is a smart card that requires the embedded circuit to make contact with a physical reader head in order to exchange or transmit data. 
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Contactless Smart Card
A contactless smart card does not require the reader and the chip to make physical contact.  Instead the embedded circuit is attached to an antenna.  The exchange of data is made via radio waves instead of physical contact. 
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CR79
A little smaller than the standard credit card (CR80) size.  The physical dimensions are 83.9 mm x 51 mm. 
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CR80
This is the most widely used size of card. The physical dimensions are 85.6 mm x 54 mm.
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CR90
This is the size of most standard issues drivers licenses. The physical dimensions are 92 mm x 60 mm.
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CR100
This is an over sized card. The CR100 has become popular with the government, mainly the military branches. The physical dimensions are 98.5 mm x 67 mm.
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Direct to Card Printing
The direct to card printing process refers to the process of printing directly on to the surface of a PVC card.
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DPI (Dots Per Inch)
Is a printing measurement of dot density.  The measurement tells how many dots can be printed in a one inch line.  DPI is used to show printing resolution on to a hard copy.
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Duplex
Describes the process of printing on both sides of the smart card.
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Dye Sublimation
Dye sublimation is the printing process which uses heat to transfer the dyes on to the PVC card.  The dye sublimation process gives photo quality images and crisp clear text.  The dye is stored on a cellophane ribbon that usually has four color panels, each color panel being the size of the medium that is being printed on.  In most sublimation processes the last layer is a laminate layer put down to protect the dyes from fading and rubbing off.
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Edge-to-Edge
Edge-to-edge printing refers to the ability to print all the way to the edge of the card.  In this process there is no margin or white space that is wasted and you are able to take full advantage of the cards size.
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Encoding
The function of writing data or access control information to smart cards.
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Ethernet
Computer networking technologies that support connecting devices to a LAN (local area network).
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Font
Refers to type of one style and size.
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High Coercivity
The measurement of the magnetic field present on a magnetic card. A stripe that has high coercivity is more resistant to magnetic fields that may erase the data stored on the stripe.  A high coercivity stripe is usually black in color.
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High Definition Printing™
High Definition Printing™ uses dye-sublimation to print 300-dpi images on the reverse side of HDP film from Fargo. Using heat and pressure the film is bonded to the card surface.
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Hopper
The part of the printer that holds blank cards that are ready to be fed in to the printer.
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Holograms
2d and 3d holograms add an extra layer of security to your cards.  Since standard printers and copiers can not duplicate a hologram you get excellent security on your cards.
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ID Card
A card that identifies the holder and the issuer.  Most commonly found in the financial industry.
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Lamination
Is an extra layer added to the card, on top of the card.  Usually clear or can be embedded with a hologram.  As well as making the card more durable, lamination also adds a layer of security making the card tamper proof.
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LCD
LCD is an abbreviation for Liquid Crystal Display.  Used to display important information and printer status to the user.   Some printers also display helpful prompts for maintenance and other activities to walk you through the processes.
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Logical Access
Granting access to information systems.
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Low Coercivity
The measurement of the magnetic field present on a magnetic card. A stripe that has low coercivity is less resistant to magnetic fields that may erase the data stored on the stripe.  A low coercivity stripe is usually brown in color.
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Magnetic Cards
Magnetic material is embedded to the back of a PVC card and encoded with data.  The magnetic cards require a physical connection be made and are read via swiping your card through a card reader and being read by physical read head.  These cards are most often found in the financial industry and access systems.
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Membership Card
A card issued to members of a club for identification and access control. Membership cards are most often found in gyms, sports clubs, golf clubs, and etc.
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Monochrome
Monochrome describes the process of printing in just one color or shades of one color.  In printing monochrome usually means black and white or grayscale. 
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Physical Access
Granting access to a physical facility.
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Print Head
The print head is the part of the printer that applies the ink to the card or any other medium (card stock, paper, and etc).
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Proximity Cards
Some times called contactless cards, proximity cards use radio frequency to transmit and receive data.  Since data is exchanged via radio frequency the need to swipe a card through a reader is not needed.  Most commonly found in ID cards, payment cards, and transit cards.
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PVC Cards
PVC cards are the plastic cards  most of us carry with us.  They are durable, secure, print great, and long lasting.
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Resolution
In printing resolution refers to the number of dots that can be placed in a certain distance DPI (or dots per inch).
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Rewritable Card
Rewritable cards contain a heat sensitive area.  When heat is applied to this area the text can become either shown or hidden.  This technology is great for cards that need updated frequently or cards that will be used temporarily.
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RFID Cards
Radio frequency identification cards or RFID cards for short refers to the technology that uses radio frequencies to transfer data between a reader and an object for the purpose of tracking or identification.
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Signature Panel
The area on a card where the user can sign the card with their signature.
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Simplex
Describes the process of only writing on one side of the card.
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Smart Cards
Smart cards are about the size of a normal credit card and have an embedded chip on them.  Smart cards usually contain a certain amount of reusable memory and sometimes a processor. Smart cards are used to handle sensitive information and are used commonly for authentication purposes in the financial industry.
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Thermal Printing
Is the process of using heat to print instead of ink.  Heat is applied to a heat-sensitive medium to create text, such as in the rewritable cards.
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USB
USB is an abbreviation for Universal Serial Bus. Most printers come with a USB connection making it very simple to hook the printer up to your computer.
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