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A dongle is
|“||[a] copy protection or security device supplied with software. The dongle hinders unauthorized use or duplication of software because each copy of the program requires a dongle to function.||”|
When the dongle is not present, the software runs in a restricted mode or refuses to run. Dongles are used by some proprietary vendors as a form of digital rights management because it is much harder to copy the dongle than to copy the software it authenticates. Vendors of software protection dongles (and dongle-controlled software) often use terms such as hardware key, hardware token, or security device in their written literature. In day-to-day use however, the jargon word "dongle" is much more commonly used.
- ↑ U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Electronic Crime Scene Investigation: A Guide for First Responders 52 (2d ed. Apr. 2008) (full-text).
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