How to Protect Your Proximity Cards

How to Protect Your Proximity Cards

All proximity cards use similar technology to create the functionality that you need for access control. This includes an antenna connected to an electronic chip that contains all of the card’s information. Both the antenna and the chip are embedded into the proximity card at the time of manufacture.

Because the ID card is picked up by the proximity reader at a distance, there’s no physical contact between the card and the reader, which should make proximity cards last longer and require less maintenance for your readers.

How Proximity Cards Can Fail

There are a few reason why a proximity card can fail:

  1. If the connection between the antenna and the chip is broken or if the antenna is damaged in some other way, your proximity card won’t work.
  2. You can irreparably damage the integrated circuitry if the proximity card is exposed to electro static discharge.
  3. A strong magnetic field can wipe clean any programming on the chip.

How These Failures Can Occur

At IDSecurityOnline, we’ve seen a range of actions—mostly unintentional—that can damage a proximity card. Here are a few:

  • The proximity card goes through the washer and dryer because an employee forgot it in a pocket.
  • The card gets too hot after being left on the dash of a car.
  • An employee punches a hole in the proximity card for attachment purposes and damages the antenna.
  • Someone uses the card to pry open a paint can or to scrap the ice off of a car windshield.
  • Sitting on the card while in a back pocket and causing it to bend or twist.
  • Especially if the card is exposed to harsh chemicals like solvents, thinners, alcohol, and others.

How Can You Protect Your Proximity Cards?

The best thing you can do to protect your proximity card is to educate your employees about what can damage them. The very next thing you should do is physically protect them from damage by using an ID badge holder.

There’s quite a selection of ID badge holders that will get the job done for you. The important question to ask first is how are your proximity cards being used?

Light Use of Prox Cards

If your employees only carry their badges around in their pocket, that’s considered light use because the card is only read by the proximity reader; there’s no physical activity involving the card.

There are many basic options that work in this case. There are flexible vinyl holders that are a simple method of protection. They can have sealable tops like a sandwich baggie, or they can provide UV protection from the sun’s harmful rays. You can even find badge holders that eliminate the transfer of your card image to the plastic badge holder itself.

These card holder options will provide light protection, but still leave your proximity cards visible.

Heavy Use Protection

However, if your proximity cards bear more physical use or are exposed to extreme outdoor conditions, you’ll want to get a rigid badge holder. Made of a hard, long-lasting plastic, a rigid badge holder can take more abuse than the flexible vinyl holders. You can find rigid holders with the following options:

  • Holders that lock the cards inside to keep them safe.
  • Options that have a slot for easy removal of the card if it needs to be shown often.
  • Dual-sided holders for thicker clam shell proximity cards.

Not Sure Which Option is Best?

If you still have questions about how to extend the life of your proximity cards, call one of the IDSecurityOnline experts today to discuss how your cards are currently being used. We’ll go over your future plans for proximity card use, your budget for card holders, and what is the best option to help you protect your proximity cards now and in the future.

Or if you’re ready to pick out the badge holders for your company’s proximity cards, click here  to see the full assortment of proximity card holders offered by IDSecurityOnline.