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The Ultimate Guide to Plastic ID Cards

Plastic ID cards have revolutionized the way organizations manage their security and access control. From important internal documents to medical records, protecting confidential information is a top priority. However, technological advancements have provided businesses with a secure, yet easy to use solution: plastic ID cards. This guide will take a look at the features, benefits, pros and cons of this versatile identification system.

An ID card is a form of identification used to gain access to a secure area or to verify the identity of an individual. This type of identification is typically supported by barcodes, magnetic stripes and/or NFC technology. ID cards are also used to store personal information such as name, address, photo and more. ID cards are used in a variety of settings, from personal identity cards to employee or student access cards.

Plastic ID cards offer a range of features that make them an attractive option for organizations. Here are some of the main features of plastic ID cards:

  • Durability: Unlike traditional paper and cardstock, plastic ID cards are highly resistant to water, tearing and fading.
  • Security: Plastic ID cards offer a secure way to verify identity and employee access. Encrypted barcodes and/or magnetic stripes can protect confidential information from unauthorized access.
  • Customization: Plastic ID cards can be customized with an organization's logo, color scheme, text, and photos. VCards are also available, allowing employees to have their personal information securely stored on their ID card.
  • Accessibility: Plastic ID cards provide easy access to secure areas. For example, RFID readers allow cards to be scanned from a distance of up to 3 feet. Additionally, swipe cards can be quickly and easily scanned using a compatible reader.

In addition to the features mentioned above, there are a number of benefits associated with plastic ID cards. Here are some of them:

  • Cost savings: Compared to other identification systems, plastic ID cards can provide significant cost savings for organizations. Plastic cards are more durable and require less frequent replacement than paper or cardstock.
  • Convenience: Plastic ID cards can be quickly and easily verified, allowing quick access to secure areas.
  • Portability: Plastic ID cards can be easily carried in a pocket or wallet, making them a great option for organizations with multiple locations.
  • Tracking: Plastic ID cards can be used to track employee attendance and visitor activity. They also provide a secure way to track the location of individuals.

When deciding whether plastic ID cards are the right choice for your organization, consider the following pros and cons:

  • Customizable: ID cards can be customized with an organization's logo, color scheme, text, and photos.
  • Secure: Plastic ID cards offer a secure way to verify identity and employee access with encrypted barcodes and/or magnetic stripes.
  • Cost effective: Compared to other identification systems, plastic ID cards can provide significant cost savings for organizations.

  • Time consuming: Producing ID cards can be a time consuming process, and requires specialized equipment.
  • Data management: Organizations must ensure that the data stored on the ID cards is secure and can be properly managed.
  • Vulnerability: Plastic ID cards can lost or stolen, allowing unauthorized access to secure areas.

To further illustrate the advantages of plastic ID cards, let's take a look at two successful case studies.

Company A is a major corporation with multiple offices spread across the country. To ensure access control and security, they implemented an employee access control system using plastic ID cards. The cards contain an employee's photo, name, and other pertinent information. Additionally, the cards are encoded with an encrypted barcode or magnetic stripe that is scanned by a reader to grant or deny access to each area.

Company B is a medium-size organization with thousands of employees. To manage the influx of visitors to their buildings, they implemented a secure visitor badge system. Each visitor is issued a plastic ID badge that contains their name and photo. The badge is scanned by a reader upon entry and exit from the building, and a database is updated to track their movements.

Here are some common questions asked about plastic ID cards:

A: The type of ID card you need will depend on your organization's needs. Magnetic stripe cards are the most common and are used for access control and verifying identification. Smart cards are more secure and can store more data. Barcode cards are popular in retail and visitor management applications.

A: You will need a specialized plastic card printer to produce ID cards. This type of printer can print on plastic cards and encode them with barcodes or magnetic stripes.

A: Plastic ID cards are usually good for up to 3 years. However, they can last even longer if they are properly stored and protected from damage.

As with any technology, there are certain pitfalls to be aware of when using plastic ID cards. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when using them:

  • Poorly designed cards: Poorly designed cards can make them difficult to scan and read. To prevent this, make sure the barcodes or magnetic stripes on the card are easy to read and are not printed too close together.
  • Unsecured data: Storing sensitive data on ID cards can be a security risk if the data is not secured properly. Make sure that your organization has adequate data security measures in place, such as encryption and access control.
  • Lost or stolen cards: Lost or stolen cards can be a major risk, so it is important to keep track of them. Implement proper procedures for replacing lost or stolen cards and use an access control system that requires a secure PIN or biometric authentication.

To ensure the best results when using plastic ID cards, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the cards are legible: Make sure that the printing on the cards is clear and easy to read. Clean the reader regularly to ensure it is able to accurately read the cards.
  • Enforce proper security: Make sure that all access control systems and data security measures are properly enforced. Require secure PINs or biometric authentication for access to secure areas.
  • Create an audit trail: To ensure the security of the system, create an audit trail of the movement of ID cards. Track when they are issued and their location at all times.
  • Check for outdated cards: Regularly check to make sure all ID cards are up to date. Replace outdated IDs regularly to ensure only valid cards are being used.

Plastic ID cards are an effective and secure method of controlling access and verifying identity. From employee access control to visitor management, plastic ID cards offer a convenient solution and can save organizations both time and money. When implementing a plastic card system, it is important to consider the cost, convenience, and security of the system. In addition, organizations should be sure to adhere to best practices to ensure maximum effectiveness.