Alphanumeric: a character set that contains letters and numbers.

Algorithm: an iterative mathematical procedure used to combine information to create a cipher or secret code. The basis of many proprietary coding systems.

Assay: a test carried out on a mixture of metals with the object of determining the content or composition. The term is usually applied to the determination of the percentage of precious metal (gold, silver, platinum etc) in an alloy with a view to determining its value. In the case of authentication industry, it generally refers to the detection of the presence and concentration of taggants or markers.

Authentic: real, genuine, valid, of undisputed origin. Authentication is the process of confirming that a product, document or even person is authentic.


Barcode: a series of vertical printed bars of controlled thickness and separation representing variable data information in a linear format. A 2D barcode consists of a representation of solid and clear images (usually squares) in a matrix format over a specific two dimensional structure.

Biometrics: technologies that use human features such as fingerprints or retinal eye patterns to identify individuals.

Brand: the identity of a specific product, service, or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan.


Cipher: an encrypted message representing a range of characters.

Code: a system of letters or symbols by means of which information may be represented.

Color shift: an optically variable effect whereby the material - usually a thin film or ink - changes from one color to another, or from one color to clear, when the viewing angle is altered.

Counterfeit: an imitation of a document, product or its packaging that is made with the intent to deceptively represent the item as the genuine article.

Covert: a concealed or hidden feature that is not apparent and can only be viewed via with special reading or lighting equipment (see overt).


Datamatrix: a barcode consisting of many lines of linear barcodes arranged into a rectangular or square format. Its advantage is that it can carry much more information than a single, linear barcode. It is also known as a 2D barcode.

Decryption: the process of converting encrypted data back into its original form (see encryption)

Diffractive optically variable device (DOVID): the collective term for images that display complex visual effects that change according to the viewing angle, based on the phenomenon of diffraction. These effects are varied, and are typically three dimensional (exhibiting depth as well as width and height), kinetic, multi channel (in which one image, or part of an image, changes into another) or animation (images with these effects are known as stereograms). DOVIDs are created either via the interference of two laser beams (i.e. holograms) or through direct write processes using an electron or laser beam.

Digifeiting: the reproduction (as in counterfeiting) of documents and packaging using digital reprographic technology.

Digital printing: the reproduction of digital images and data on physical surfaces via inkjet, laser or dot matrix printers. The images are transferred directly to the printer and the process is particularly suited for documents, labels etc with variable data.

Digital watermark: digital data embedded directly within video, audio or print content which is imperceptible to humans but readable by computers.

Diversion: genuine goods distributed outside of and often in violation of authorized distribution channels (also known as parallel trading)

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