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Enhancing ID Card Security with Encoded Data

Enhancing ID Card Security with Encoded Data

More than provide basic identification, modern ID cards help mitigate threats to your organization by protecting your employees, proprietary business information, and sensitive customer data from intruders and unauthorized access. As such, maintaining the security and integrity of your ID cards is paramount.

Apart from implementing physical security features, encoding information directly onto the blank cards can further enhance the security of ID cards because even if a counterfeiter is able to replicate the physical looks of your ID cards, the fraudulent cards wouldn't validate without the encoded data from the authentic cards. While data encoding cannot fully replace visual security features, it can augment them in ways that are beneficial both to the user and to the ID card issuer.

Let’s explore ways we can encode ID information onto plastic cards:


The simplest and easiest way to encode data onto ID cards is through barcodes. While they don’t actually store data, barcodes are machine-readable optical representations of data. They are very popular, and an inexpensive way of adding information onto ID cards. Any ID printer using ribbons with a black resin (K) panel can print barcodes onto ID cards.

Magnetic Stripes

Magnetic stripe encoding is the oldest and the most popular way of storing data on plastic cards. Common applications include access control cards, credit cards, gift cards, and ID cards. Card information is encoded (and re-encoded) to a card by altering the polarity of the magnetic stripe embedded on the card. Magnetic stripe readers read the encoded data when a card is swiped through them.

Smart Cards

Capable of storing greater amounts of data than magnetic stripe cards, smart cards contain an integrated chip that can host vast amounts of ID information. They can be configured to store card data multiple times making them ideal for many different card applications. Tapping or swiping the smart card directly onto a smart card reader accesses ID data encoded on the smart cards.

Contactless Smart Cards

Just like smart cards, contactless cards contain electronic chips that can store cardholder data, but in addition to the integrated chip, the cards also have embedded antennas that allow them to communicate with a passive reader without making any direct contact with the scanner. Contactless smart cards are perfect for high-traffic buildings that require robust access control solutions.

All these card encoding options allow you to add information to your ID cards that are not readily accessible to anyone without the proper equipment thereby increasing your card’s security significantly.

For assistance in choosing the right solution for your ID security needs, speak with our ID experts at 1-800-667-1772 today. You may also reach them using this contact form.

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