Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Destroy Your Hotel Room Keys.... Here's Why!

Ever wonder what is on your magnetic key card?
a. Customer's name
b. Customer's partial home address
c. Hotel room number
d. Check-in date and out dates
Customer's credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner.. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.
Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee reissues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the new guest's information is electronically 'overwritten' on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process.

But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them into the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

If you have a small magnet, pass it across the magnetic strip several times. Then try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything on the card.

Information courtesy of: Metropolitan Police Service. Canada


  1. That's interesting - and scary!

  2. I've heard this before and ALWAYS destroy my hotel key cards. Thanks for the great reminder.

  3. Yikes! Thank you for this great reminder!

  4. Thanks! I had actually forgotten about that! Great reminder...

  5. I did not know this so THANK YOU for the info!!!! Eeeek... so many times I've lost it behind the mirror due to my carelessness and felt guilty about it... Now I will just lose it in the shredder at home instead!

  6. Most hotel key cards only have the Room # (address) and a time and date stamp encoded on them...your advise is sound as you can not tell which hotel do have personal info on the cards.

  7. Holy crow! I just checked into this and you are right! Who knew?! I just re-posted on "Lessons From Teachers and Twits" page on Facebook. I found you from Deb Bryan (Monster in your Closet)

  8. Thanks for the heads up. Here is a second source describing the risks. Might not be as wide-spread as previously thought, unless you are the one who gets burned.



  9. I was not aware of it. It is a scary news that keycard contains such a personal information. I will never return my keycard again.

    Thank You for the information.
    Wedding Key Cards



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