Things to remember to securely destroy a credit/ debit card

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Things to remember to securely destroy a credit/ debit card

In the generation of increasing identity theft, one has to be very careful while disposing an old credit card. If not destroyed properly, it can practically be like handing your card information to someone on a plate.

Taking a few half-hearted swipes with the scissors to your old credit cards just won't cut it anymore. Dumpster divers intent on looking for account numbers do not need much -- experts say even shredded cards can be pieced together by an earnest thief.

Hence keep these things in your mind to ensure that your card is properly destroyed and all the personal details are as safe as possible.

  • Destroy magnetic stripes and chips

Magnetic strip and the chip embedded, holds all the vital personal information of your card. Care should be given to destroy these info.

By running a fairly strong magnet across the magnetic stripe for a decent amount of time can demagnetize the magnetic strip scrambling all the stored data.  Use a hammer or scissor to perish the very crucial chip.

  • Slice it up

Though most people take up the scissor before trashing your credit card, they often don’t do in the right way to scramble all the data. If not done well, you are opening doors to identity thieves to piece the card back together. You need to strategically and logically slice up your card.

Firstly, slice up the credit card numbers. Each set of four numbers should be cut into at least three pieces. Don’t forget to cut the signature, magnetic stripe and security code in to bits as small as possible. Make use of a combination of bend, straight, curved cuts making it difficult to place the pieces back.

  • Shred the card and associated documents

Shredders can destroy the card into fines bits (based on the type of shredder used). Make sure that the shredder you use is specially designed for the credit card with crosscutting functionality, which can be double the cost of a normal shredder, but with it. Also remember to shred out all the related documents leaving no trace of info.

  • Distribute in different trash bags

Once you are done with shredding, slicing, chopping and everything, it is time to dispose it off. Make sure that all the bits doesn’t go in the same bag. Split it up into different batches, and dispose the card pieces and destroyed documents in different trash bags at different instances and even different locations if possible. This makes it nearly impossible for any fraudster to trace back your info.

  • Is recycling entertained?

At a recycling center, material pass through a conveyer belt and employees manually pick through items to make sure that only recyclable materials get through. Hence any confidential bits of info are likely to be taken off by someone who is looking for it. Hence recycling the remnants can never be a safer option. Any possibilities of fraudulence can be ruled out by burning out the remnants, though it’s not so environment friendly. Even these practices are in existence to safeguard to the core.