Destroying & Disposing of Credit Cards

Posted  February 26, 2020  by  Jenny Green


Your credit card, as everyone should know, holds an incredible amount of your data on such a small, rectangular piece of plastic, and that’s why you should know how to correctly destroy and dispose of these to avoid your data being acquired and exploited.

A common myth is that simply using scissors to cut up your card is a correct way of destroying your card, but this is the furthest thing from it. However, if your only option is to cut up your card with scissors then it is advised that for each set of 4 numbers on the front of your card, they are cut into 6 pieces, this makes it incredibly unlikely that someone can piece together your card number due to the enormous amount of possible combinations of numbers. In addition to this you must also, make sure you cut through your signature.

Be sure to take an extra step in order to destroy the card’s magnetic strip and / the RFID chip. To do this, simply run a very strong magnet along the magnetic strip of your card. For the RFID chip, apply scissors or a hammer to the chip embedded within the card.

The preferred way of destroying credit cards though is to put them through a shredder. The shredder must be specifically designed to handle the shredding of credit cards and also have a cross-cutting function, otherwise one that cuts it into strips makes it too easy to piece back together.
It’s also important to know how to dispose of your credit card, too.

If you do have to dispose of your credit card in the general waste then it is best to throw away pieces of your card / data separately, and within separate trash bins. For example; throwing some pieces away with your kitchen trash, and others with your bedroom or home office trash, greatly reduces the risk and ensures your card cannot simply be put back together like a quick little jigsaw puzzle.

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