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Government ID Cards for Access Control

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Government ID Cards for Access Control


High security is incredibly important in government buildings. Protecting employees, facilities and important confidential information is a key concern. The threat of outside intruders is one that must be met with a comprehensive security plan. Photo ID badges can play a key role in that effort. Most government agencies now issue highly secure, multifunctional ID badges to their employees. These badges are often integrated with access control systems, both for buildings as well as government issued computers and computer networks. Access control systems for government facilities will typically utilize either proximity card technology or smart card encoding.


A proximity card (or RFID card) contains information which is transmitted from an antenna embedded within the card. The signal is delivered as a radio frequency containing the encoded information. That signal is then read any time the card is held within range of a specific proximity card reader. For government facilities, the cards can be programmed to allow entry for individual users to specific buildings and restricted areas.


Smart cards come in two forms: contact smart cards, and contactless smart cards. A contact card stores information on a single smart chip. The chip can store a significant amount of information while utilizing powerful encryption for heightened security. These cards must be inserted into a reader for the information to be accessed or transmitted. Contact smart cards are often used in government IDs to control access to computers and highly secure networks.

A contactless smart card features an embedded antenna connected to a smart chip. The antenna transmits information stored on the chip when it is waved in front of a special reader. Contactless smart cards provide added convenience while still maintaining an extremely high level of security when it comes to storing information and integrating with access control systems.

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