Can Chip Cards be Demagnetized?

Photo: Jonas Svidras @ STEP.CAMERA

Normally no. The introduction of the chip was because the magnetic strip could get demagnetized easily.

However, chip cards can be read easily with a pocket reader. If you have your card in your wallet in your back pocket, it has been shown that your info can be stolen that way.

Many of the new Chip cards are also RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) enabled, meaning they can be energized and read remotely. While usually within 2–4inches, it may be possible for a longer distance.

As to the chip, while protected from normal antistatic shocks, it is possible to apply a high voltage across a couple of the pads and burn it out such as across the GND (Ground) and VPP (Chip Programming Voltage) or VCC (chip Voltage)

RFID works by creating a magnetic field from a coil of wire, usually in a card reader or door badge scanner, but can be carried covertly. For stores preventing theft, at the doors, there will be these stands you have to walk through, although you could easily hide a coil around the frame of the door. As the coil inside the credit card passes through this magnetic field, it generates electricity to power the chip which powers up and transmits its data. All of this happens in less than one second.

Something like this would be built into your passport, credit card, company ID badge, or product theft label. The chip is extremely small and is shown in the middle of the antenna. The larger the surface area of the antenna, and more loops, the more energy you can get from the field you are walking or passing the card through.

To prevent RFID reading when in your pocket, you need one of the card wallets sold for this purpose that has metal plates to block the RFID energy pulse.

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