How Safe is Your Hotel Key Card with Your Personal Information Embedded on it?
Posted Nov 16 2012 1:00am
Do we really know for sure how much, if any, of our personal information is on a key card?
All of my results, including the exact percentage of readable cards, match up with Robert L Mitchell’s findings at Computerworld. Robert interviewed a number of industry experts and they stated that it is extremely unlikely that any travelers in the US would find personal private information on their hotel key cards. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but they weren’t convinced the probability was high enough for anybody to worry about it.
While most experts agree that current systems are likely very secure, there is suspicion in the industry that very old card key access systems from years past may not have been as secure and these systems may have included personal information on the cards. Although there are a couple unproven claims to the contrary, I cannot find any demonstrable proof that hotel key cards have any personal info on them.
DESTROY THE CARDS UPON CHECKOUT
Take on the responsibility of taking your key cards with you when you check out and cut them up, depositing pieces of them in different garbage cans, like cutting up credit cards.
PUT YOUR CELL PHONE ON THEM!
It’s supposedly a myth that cell phones can delete information on hotel key cards, maybe even credit cards – or any with a magnetic strip – but, it’s not been completely validated. So, hey, lay your powered up cell phone on your key card for a while and then cut it up!