Industry Solutions

Secure ID Badging Trends for the Upcoming School Year

When it comes to education facilities, a universal goal can be found – create a secure environment that will protect the safety of students, faculty, and non-academic staff. One common approach toward this goal is the use of secure school ID cards.

Each year, the administrators of K-12 schools and higher education universities must be prepared for threats and non-authorized entry to their campus. With so much at stake, and with so many considerations, ID Wholesaler education customers wanted to know what their peers were currently exercising.

ID Wholesaler, along with secure card issuance industry partner, Entrust, shared ID badging trends for physical access security provided by education institutions across the nation. The 2023-2024 school year security insights were broadcast in a webinar hosted by Campus Safety, a leading publication for security directors and executive administrators involved in the public safety of schools and universities.  Watch an on-demand recording of the “Secure ID Badging for the Upcoming School Year” webinar today.

The insights shared in the webinar were largely based on ID Wholesaler’s recently published Fourth Annual Survey of School Administrators. A top ID badging trend showed an increase in card security features, indicated by over one-half of survey respondents.

School trends that affect ID Badging graph

Security is an ever-evolving initiative, and most schools are constantly on the lookout for newer and better ways to protect their people, information, and property.

When it comes to determining what your school badge credentials will encompass, educational institutions should consider several security factors including high-tech and low-tech options for making ID cards more secure and easy to use.

High-tech Badge Card Considerations

For high-tech considerations, schools should determine if they need data stored on the card, what information needs to be stored, and the systems and hardware that will “read” the data from the card. The sensitivity of the information and how securely the information needs to be guarded are also important factors. 

A common combination that we work with customers on is a proximity or RFID card used on doors, with a mag stripe used in the lunchroom, and a printed barcode used in the library. 

Schools should also consider what information they would like printed on the card. Commonly a photo is included on the ID, as well as school branding, the card-holder’s names, and other on-site user info that helps visually verify the user’s accessibility privileges. We see more schools at all levels using the back side of student badge cards to print mental health resource information and/or emergency phone numbers. Likewise, many institutions are printing emergency codes and procedures on to the back of staff ID badges.

The purpose of visual security is to provide at-a-glance verification to a high degree of confidence that someone at your facility is who they say they are, and they are in a place where they should be.

Student ID badge with grade level badge backer

Low-tech Badge Card Considerations

Low-tech ID card considerations that will enhance security include card design features and badge holder accessories. Though often overlooked, on-card and badge accessory design not only enhance visual security, but they also elevate your facility’s brand and even enhance school spirit.

The IDW Annual Survey of School Administrators shows that over 75% of staff and almost 40% of students are required to display their ID while on campus.  This means badges are likely worn on the body with an accessory like a neck lanyard or badge reel.

Customized lanyards, badge reels and other badge accessories typically include a school logo, school moto, school colors, or even a school mascot. Branded lanyards and school badge cards are a great way to build school spirit, but custom accessories also enhance credibility and are harder to counterfeit.

If you have built a culture of verifying visual identity at your school, you will need to also think about visual ID for visitors. Expiring visitor badges are an excellent option for this.  These turn from white to red over time and display a red “void” label – a clear indication an individual is no longer validated to be on premise. Expiring badges cannot be reused, so unauthorized future use or sharing of visitor badges is greatly decreased.

Popular ID Badge Printers

What are popular school badge card printers? The Sigma SL3 ID Card Printer represents the next generation of direct-to-card printing. This ID card machine is specifically designed for today’s cloud environment and offers the ability to easily issue secure identities. 

The industry-leading issuance security architecture from Entrust will keep your cards and data safe and secure from intruders at each step of the issuance process. Data is always encrypted and not stored in the printer after successful printing is complete. 

A modular design for the Sigma SL3 allows owners to easily upgrade their printer’s capabilities – like adding duplex printing (print on the front and back of a plastic card), and enhancing card security and durability with lamination.

Watch the full on-demand recording of the “Secure ID Badging for the Upcoming School Year” now.

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