How do you destroy your old credit cards?
There comes a time when you have to say goodbye to an old friend, and destroy your old credit card.
It might be because it has reached its expiry date and the bank has sent you a new one; or maybe you’ve simply cancelled a card that you no longer use. However, for safety’s sake, you’ve got to make sure that the old card is thoroughly destroyed so that even the most determined of criminals can’t piece it together and start helping themselves to your hard-won cash.
Our guide comes with this one very important warning: Make sure you’re cutting up the right card!
It’s very easy, in the confusion and excitement of receiving a new card in the post to get confused and slice it into a thousand pieces before you’ve realised what you’ve done, and it happens to more people than you think.
The thing about credit cards these days is that they come with so much added security, that you’ve got to make sure that a simple cut-in-two with a pair of scissors isn’t good enough these days. You’ve got to make sure the card itself is truly obliterated.
What you’ll need is one tool – a stout pair of scissors.
1. Cut up the card into four pieces, so that each piece has one of the four number groups.
2. Turn the piece over, and cut again along the strip that has the three-figure security code so that it’s no longer legible.
3. If the card has a built-in chip, use a bit of extra effort to ensure this in completely cut in half.
4. For extra security, cut along your name, so that it cannot be read.
5. Don’t put all the pieces in the same bin!
Some people take other, more extreme measures that are entirely down to your level of paranoia – for example, scoring or demagnetising the strip on the back, melting the whole thing under that grill or setting about it with a blow torch. Each to his own, just make sure that no other person can use it. Then, go out and use your new card. You know you want to.
By Jason Taylor – [email protected]