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Old 07-26-2011, 06:19 AM   #1
babydiver
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Key Card Security

I know this doesn't apply to DCL Key Cards because we ALL take them home with us as a souvenir, don't we?

This is pretty good info. Have you ever thought about hotel key cards containing anything other than an access code for the room!

Ever wonder what is on your magnetic key card?

Answer:
a. Customer's name
B. Customer's partial home address
c. Hotel room number
d. Check-in date and out dates
e. 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: Police Service.

My mobile phone holder has a magnetic catch on the flap and we wiped the card over that and then tried it in the door and it didn't open it so we know that's the thing to do before handing it back.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:29 AM   #2
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Having been a front desk agent for 5 years I can tell you that we could care less about your information on a key card. If we really wanted to we could just go in the computer and get the information that way. Really the only thing you can get off a key card is a room number. That's it. Maybe they do things differently in other countries but I could never get anyones credit card information from a room key.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donaldcp98 View Post
Having been a front desk agent for 5 years I can tell you that we could care less about your information on a key card. If we really wanted to we could just go in the computer and get the information that way. Really the only thing you can get off a key card is a room number. That's it. Maybe they do things differently in other countries but I could never get anyones credit card information from a room key.
What can I say - this is being issued for Europe by the Police Service and can't speak for any other countries.

But where you are an honest person and your hotel runs that way there are always unscrupulous people around.

Best to always be on the safe side and delete 'whatever' information is on the card. It can't hurt.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
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Urban legend. Here is the origin of that story - http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/hotelkey.asp
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:43 AM   #5
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Heck, if an employee of the hotel or cruise line is bent on stealing your information they're going to do it anyway, no matter what is on your key card and when. Although it is interesting that the Snopes link has the entire first post pretty much word for word and debunks it.

Police Service? Which police service?
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazlikesrobots View Post
Urban legend. Here is the origin of that story - http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/hotelkey.asp
Thanks Taz. I knew that we didn't do that at either hotel I have worked for but didn't have a chance to check snopes for the "official" debunking.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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Well, thank goodness that was just a rumour and nothing to worry about....interesting though and I think we shall keep wiping our key cards ourselves seeing as it's so easy.
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14 nights Panama Canal May 2015 (Platinum at last) - 11 night Disney Magic WBTA Sept 2015.
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