Smart Cards

Smart Cards are generally used for access control and security purposes. The card itself usually contains a small amount of memory that can be used to store permissions and access information.

Smart cards are difficult to counterfeit, but they are easy to steal. Once a thief has a smart card, they have access to all that the card allows.

To prevent this, many organizations don’t put any identifying marks on their smart cards, making it harder for someone to use them.

A password or PIN is required to activate most smart card, and encryption is employed to protect the contents. With many smart cards, if you enter the wrong PIN number multiple times (usually three), the card will shut down to enhance security further.

Many European countries are beginning to use smart cards instead of magnetic-strip credit cards because they offer additional security and can contain more information.


Working with Smart Cards

You have been asked to help troubleshoot a problem that is occurring in your school’s computer lab. Students are complaining about viruses that are infecting the flash drives they bring to school. How can you help remedy this situation?

Make sure that all of the systems in your school lab computers are running antivirus software and that this software is kept up to date.

Doing so will prevent known viruses from entering the school’s system and being transferred to student files.

You may also want to evaluate whether the school’s computers should have removable media installed on their systems.

Several manufacturers sell systems called thin clients, which don’t provide any disk storage or removable media on their workstations.

Thin clients access servers to download applications, data, and any other information they need to have in order to run. This eliminates the danger of viruses being introduced from student disks.

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