Marketed as a smart-card reader, Secure PC is said to be ideally suited for computer manufacturers, on-line payment agencies, banks, retail catalog web sites, healthcare organizations, software, and on-line music publishers, as well as other organizations that offer on-line payment services. The device is installed in a drive bay inside the PC, eliminating the need for additional desktop space. It electronically controls the start up of peripherals, verifies user authorization, and both identifies and prevents thieves or hackers from using the unit or trying to boot up the system via a diskette or removable disk. This system combines several authentication functions for networks, the Internet, electronic payments, and acts as an electronic key for the PC's peripherals, data and applications. It also acts as an identification system to filter and restrict telephone calls, history access, and history control to and from the Internet.