6
   

Cutting Credit Card in Two

 
 
gollum
 
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 10:24 am
I used to cut my expired credit cards in two prior to disposing of them.

Now that most of the cards have chips, should the chip be cut in half, or otherwise?
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 10:27 am
@gollum,
Up to you. I always cut mine up into tiny pieces making sure I cut through the chips and holograms.

That's just me though, I'm a belt and braces person when it comes to things like this.
0 Replies
 
ahirshalini93
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 10:31 am
@gollum,
The functioning of the card is anyways stopped as the card is broken now. As the chip is the main part of the credit card, where a lot of information is stored. So, before disposing off your credit card, break the credit card chip.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 10:36 am
@gollum,
If they are expired, why bother cutting them up?

This seems like a useless ritual (However I think the chip should be cut in exact halves along the diagonal... and the rest of the card should be cut into 26 equilateral triangles each of which should be dropped into a can of warm water while saying the alphabet backwards).

izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 10:41 am
@maxdancona,
You may not be aware of this but chips, even expired chips contain data. That data could be used by someone interested in identity theft.

Also the only numbers that change are the expiry date and security code, the credit card number usually stays the same.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 11:02 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
You may not be aware of this but chips, even expired chips contain data. That data could be used by someone interested in identity theft.


No they don't. Why would anyone put important data on a credit card chip? I am curious about what you think is on there. Engineers are not idiots.

These chips are for authentication. The only data they have is a certificate that contains an encryption key. You get a different certificate with each credit card. When your card is expired that encryption key is no longer valid and the card becomes useless.

There is no data on an expired credit card chip that could be used for identity theft. There is no reason that computer engineers would do something like that. People lose their credit cards all of the time. The system is designed so they can just invalidate the key and the cards become useless.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 11:26 am
@maxdancona,
You remind me of Jeremy Clarkson. He posted his bank account details in his newspaper column to prove that all that could happen is people could put money into his account, only to find someone had set up a massive direct debit in favour of Greenpeace.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 12:34 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

If they are expired, why bother cutting them up?


It's cathartic.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 12:50 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

maxdancona wrote:

If they are expired, why bother cutting them up?


It's cathartic.


As good a reason as any. From a technical standpoint, since cards don't contain any personal information, isn't necessary.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 04:45 pm
@gollum,
I always try to be on the safe side, and not the sorry side. Yes, I cut up anything with private information on it, not just credit cards. Don't forget that hotel card keys has personal information on them too! We have a shredder at home that cuts credit cards and paper.
gollum
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 05:46 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter-

Thank you.

I'm not sure what personal information the hotel card key contains.

I have been giving it back to the desk clerk in the hotel lobby.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 05:51 pm
@gollum,
In my book, precaution is the best policy. However, it's difficult to know when and when not to destroy credit cards or access cards. To be on the "safe side," I believe destroying the access card is the best personal policy. In that way, you are assured of consistency in how you treat confidential information even if they are "harmless." There's no guessing game involved. The sense of security is worth it. That includes foreign travel.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 06:21 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
Please recycle you hotel card keys.


I suppose there is nothing an engineer can say. The facts don't back up the fears on this thread. No one given any evidence to back up their fears. I understand how this technology works, and any engineer will tell you there is no personal data stored on credit cards.

People will believe what they choose to believe. I just checked, the current advice is to cut up old credit cards. I found no evidence of any fraud using expired credit cards, and there is no risk for lost credit cards once you cancel the card.

However recycling your hotel card keys is important. But there are millions of hotel rooms rented every day. Being able to recycle the millions of rectangles of plastic generated every day in this country is a clear win for the environment.

Sometimes facts do matter.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 06:36 pm
@maxdancona,
Plus, if you cut that hotel card, you are going to pay for it.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Jun, 2019 06:39 pm
@roger,
I am surprised that the identity fraud people are advising people to destroy old cards.

As an engineer, I know that there is no personal information... all that is encoded on the card is information on the bank and the credit card number. I think the fear is that somehow old credit card numbers are useful to thieves.

I know how the chips work. It is standard encryption technology that we use all the time. Again, there is no personal information stored (and no reason to store it).

There are internet sites recommending that you cut the card into four pieces making sure that each piece contains a different section of the number and then putting each part in a different garbage can. This sounds awfully excessive to me, but they are protecting the now expired number, not any personal information.

I have lost a couple of cards... including one that a thief tried to use before I realized it was gone. The fraud prevention people picked it up, I canceled the card. No harm done. How many people haven't ever misplaced a credit card.

I haven't heard any stories of people being hurt by not cutting up old cards. I suppose if the identity fraud people recommended it, then people should do it. Cutting the chips in half will do the trick.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 12:37 am
@maxdancona,
I wouldn't take your advice on anything Max.

The only thing I know for certain about you is that you're inherently dishonest.

I take everything you say with a pinch of salt.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 05:10 am
This is an interesting example of "Cargo Cult" behavior. A "cargo cult" is named after an interesting set of rituals that were found in Pacific indigenous cultures after WWII. People in these cultures would cut down trees to make long straight clearings. They built a tower on one side. Then they would make a headdress that resembled headphones and wave torches in the middle of the clearing.

The reason they did this is understandable. During the war, the allied troops came, cleared out runways, built towers and waved torches. When they did this, airplanes came and brought food and supplies.

A cargo cult is a set of rituals that kind of make sense based on a set of reasonable seeming assumptions. Yet a cargo cult is illogical once you understand the actual way that reality works (you don't actually make airplanes come by waving torches).

Given the fact that there is no personal information stored on a canceled credit card (other than the bank name and credit card number) no one can explain how a thief can actually use this. Americans lose millions of credit cards and thieves can't use them once they are canceled. And yet, here we are.

There are other examples in computer security. In our industry, many companies require their employees to change their secure passwords every 3 months (or less). There is research that shows that this actually makes passwords less secure because people have to write them down rather than just choose a password they can remember.

izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 06:05 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Given the fact that there is no personal information stored on a canceled credit card (other than the bank name and credit card number)


Sez you.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 06:14 am
@izzythepush,
You can google it yourself if you want....

I will tell you this. If a bank were putting any personal information on a plastic card... I would not use that bank. That would be an insane thing to do.

We in the US regularly hand over our credit cards when we go to a restaurant or a bar. They take our cards to the back and come back a little later. We have no way of knowing what they do with our cards when they are out of sight.

Banks are also perfectly willing to send cards through the regular mail where they sit in our mailboxes with no protection until we decide to get them.

It would be ridiculous for anyone to do business with a financial institution that stored personal information on these plastic cards that can easily lost or stolen.

Again, there is nothing wrong with cutting up your expired or canceled cards. But it isn't logical to think this makes you any safer when you are perfectly willing to hand your active card over to a stranger.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Jun, 2019 06:25 am
Here is the debunking of the hotel key urban legend. Snopes also rates this one "False" and there is a link to the Snopes page in this link.

https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/fact-or-fiction-hotel-key-cards/10542/

The story is interesting, there was a single inaccurate police report caused by a misunderstanding by one officer that went viral. The police department had to publish a retraction. Hotels don't store personal information on these cards.


 

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