What Are the Dangers Associated with Key Cards?

April 13, 2018 4:43 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

With hackers and scammers getting craftier each year, those who travel and stay in hotels throughout the country might understandably be concerned about what kinds of personal information may be stored on their room key cards. Your local locksmith in Fairfax, VA is here to help take a closer look at these key cards and provide insight on what types of dangers, if any, might be associated with each hotel stay.

Busting the personal data key card myth

In 2003, a California detective came across a key card and believed that, in addition to the hotel room number and duration of the stay, the home address and credit card number of the associated guest was also stored on the card. Through word of mouth, the idea that the standard key cards that you use when on vacation can contain all sorts of sensitive personal information quickly spread, even though it was never actually confirmed after the investigation.

In reality, the card that he found was a blank card that was being used by scammers to store information that they had already stolen, and was completely unrelated to any actual hotel stay. Still, since then, many tests have been run on hotel key cards to see if there was actually any truth to this theory. These tests have concluded that there is indeed no information that ties back to individual guests stored on these cards. Although the facts from these tests have been presented over and over again, the myth still lives on today.

What information is actually stored on key cards?

Hotels use a least privilege, high security principle when programming their cards. This means that in order to protect the privacy of their guests and subsequently themselves from any potential litigation, they fill the cards with only the information that is absolutely necessary. At most, a key card will have four pieces of data on it: a check-in and checkout date, the room number and a guest identification number, if the card can also be used to purchase items in the hotel during the stay.

With that being said though, you would still want to keep track of your plastic key card in the same way that you would a metal key. Despite the fact that there isn’t any personal information on the key, if you leave your key laying around, someone with ill intentions could potentially clone the key and make an unauthorized copy to have access to your room, which could present a different set of dangers.

Losing a hotel key card is one thing, but if you should ever lose the key to your home, you will need to talk to a locksmith in Fairfax, VA right away. If the locks on your home are ever compromised, give us a call at Artie’s Lock & Key. We offer reliable services such as rekeying, key replacement and the installation of brand new locks so that you can keep your family protected if you ever find yourself in this situation. Make sure to contact us as soon as possible so we can help to keep your home safe.

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