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Definition: fingerprint reader

A scanner used to identify a person's fingerprint for security purposes. After a sample is taken, access to a computer or other system is granted if the fingerprint matches the stored sample. Laptops increasingly have built-in readers. For more security, a PIN may be used in addition to the fingerprint sample.

Fingerprint Reader
This add-on reader provides significantly more security than an ID and password. It is extremely difficult to fake a fingerprint. (Image courtesy of Identix, Inc.)

On a USB Drive
A USB drive with a fingerprint reader adds security to a portable device that can easily be lost.