4 Safety Tips for Using Your Access Card

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41% of office workers and up to 95% of schools use keycards and other forms of access control daily. Access control is one of the most common components of commercial building security, meaning most people will have experienced using access cards to enter institutions or workplaces at some point in their lives.

If your school requires the use of an access card, you’ll need to know how to keep it safe, secure, and free from damage. So, what are the best safety tips for using an access card?

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Keep reading to learn how best to store access cards, carry your credentials with you securely, and common best practices for ensuring your access card doesn’t get stolen, damaged or lost.

Safety Tips For Using Your Access Card
Photo by Van Tay Media on Unsplash

Keep Your Access Card In A Secure Spot, So You Don’t Lose It

Your keycard is essential in helping you to operate commercial access control locks and gain entry to classrooms, study halls, and cafeterias for daily activities. One of the most significant safety risks when using an access card is the potential for active credentials to be lost. An unauthorized user could steal or find your card, then use it to gain unauthorized entry. 

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A security breach such as this could result in sensitive information being exposed, property theft, or posing a risk to students and teachers. A security breach could also present significant liability issues should sensitive information be revealed – possibly even breaking GDPR regulations. 

With this in mind, ensuring that access cards are stored in a secure spot at all times is essential to the safety of colleagues and students. Here’s how best to keep school and office access cards safe:

  • Invest in a lanyard – lanyards aren’t just a fashion accessory or simply a way of displaying a name tag; they can also help to keep track of access cards. Securing credentials this way will help prevent students losing their cards in pockets or bags and ensure that they can enter buildings quickly and easily throughout the day
  • Use a keychain – If access cards are small and come with a pre-punched hole, you might be able to slide it onto your keychain and store it with your other keys. Bundling important items this way will ensure you don’t lose or misplace your credentials. 
  • Store your keycard in a lockbox – When you’re not wearing it, you’ll need to store it in a permanent location to reduce the chance of losing it. Investing in a lockbox or storage box is a great way of making sure access cards are accounted for 
  • Know where your keycard is – Consistency is key. Always store your access card in the same location when not in use. You can put it in a dish or hang your lanyard on a coat hook, ensure that your keycard is always in the same spot.

Avoid Sharing Or Lending Your Access Card

One of the biggest mistakes students and staff make when handling their access cards is sharing or lending them out. If you give your access card to someone else, there is no guarantee that you can trust them to use it appropriately; this is why you should never, under any circumstance, lend your access card to an unauthorized person. 

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If someone borrows your access card, there is no guarantee that they will return it. If the person you’re lending your card to have lost their own and needs to borrow yours, there is a high chance that they could lose yours too. Additionally, if staff share their cards with visitors or guests, they may not have access to it when needed – which could put students at risk in an emergency.

To avoid inconvenience and security risks, always keep your issued card to yourself.

Report It If Your Access Card Is Stolen

If you know your access card has been stolen, you should report it to security staff immediately. You don’t know who has stolen your card or why, so you need to find the nearest security team member and notify them. If not much time has passed, they may be able to find the culprit. 

Staff can remotely deactivate access credentials and ensure that thieves can no longer use that card to access secure locations. If your institution has a security app designed by professional software engineers, you may be able to use this system to notify security that your card has been compromised. Try to tell security as soon as possible, as the sooner they know the card has been stolen, the sooner they can take action to prevent a serious security breach.

Safety Tips For Using Your Access Card
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Do Not Alter Your Access Card

Some people like to decorate their lanyards and name tags to personalize them. However, you should never decorate your access card, as this could prevent it from working correctly. If something is blocking the path between the access reader and the card, the system may fail. 

Similarly, if your access card does not already have a hole in it for a keychain attachment, you should not punch one yourself. Doing this could make credentials unreadable, and you may need to replace the card entirely – which could be incredibly time-consuming and inconvenient.

Summary

When using a keycard to operate commercial access control at your workplace or educational facility, your biggest priority is keeping it safe. Keep these tips in mind when caring for your security keycard. Most importantly, notify staff right away should you lose your keycard. Security staff will be able to respond quickly, and you’ll get your new keycard sooner rather than later.  

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