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At work (or at school), I use my ID badge to unlock the doors. Is that a smart card?

Typically the ID cards used to unlock doors at work or school are not smart cards. ID cards you use to enter a building, dormitory, lab or other facility are usually magnetic stripe cards, if you swipe it, or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) cards, if you just hold it close to the door reader. The card just contains a number. The reader on the door sends the number up to a security system that checks whom you are and if you are allowed to go in. If you use your ID to log onto your PC at work, however, that is a smart card. Many companies are issuing "converged" ID badges that do both, but converged IDs use very different technologies for door entry and network security. For more on this, see, At work I use my ID badge (or USB token) to log onto my PC. Is that a smart card?

 


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