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
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • DOS (disk operating system)

    A DOS, or disk operating system, is an operating system that runs from a disk drive. The term can also refer to a particular ...

  • private key

    A private key, also known as a secret key, is a variable in cryptography that is used with an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt ...

  • security token

    A security token is a physical or digital device that provides two-factor authentication for a user to prove their identity in a ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

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

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • What is RAID 6?

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) refers to any type of random access memory (RAM) specifically used to store image data for a computer display.

Close