Browse Definitions :
Definition

magnetic stripe reader (magstripe reader)

A magnetic stripe reader, also called a magstripe reader, is a hardware device that reads the information encoded in the magnetic stripe located on the back of a plastic badge. Magnetic stripe readers can be read by a computer program through a serial port , USB connection, or keyboard wedge , and are generally categorized by the way they read a badge. For instance, insertion readers require that the badge be inserted into the reader and then pulled out. Swipe readers require that the badge pass completely through the reader.

The magnetic stripe on the back of a badge is composed of iron-based magnetic particles encased in plastic-like tape. Each magnetic particle in the stripe is a tiny bar magnet about 20-millionths of an inch long. When all the bar magnets are polarized in the same direction, the magnetic stripe is blank. Information is written on the stripe by magnetizing the tiny bars in either a north or south pole direction with a special electromagnetic writer, called an encoder. The writing process, called flux reversal, causes a change in the magnetic field that can be detected by the magnetic stripe reader. Since there can be two different flux reversals, N-N or S-S, there can be two different information states, much like the binary system used by computers. The magnetic stripe reader reads the information by detecting the changes in the magnetic field caused by the flux reversals on the badge's magnetic stripe.

Dating back to the 1970s, magnetic stripe readers are widely used for access control and transaction processing.

This was last updated in March 2011

Continue Reading About magnetic stripe reader (magstripe reader)

SearchCompliance

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • PKI (public key infrastructure)

    PKI (public key infrastructure) is the underlying framework that enables entities -- users and servers -- to securely exchange ...

  • obfuscation

    Obfuscation means to make something difficult to understand.

  • dumpster diving

    Dumpster diving is looking for treasure in someone else's trash.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close