Magnets under keyboard (top deck) and credit cards

Just wondering (maybe someone at the FW team can answer)… are those magnets strong enough to damage the magnetic strips on credit/access/loyalty cards?

I know it’s a bit niche, but I also work with a lot of audio tape and diskettes.


What kind of tapes and diskettes do you use?
Credit / debit cards, I wouldn’t worry about. Nor access cards.

How careful you have to be around magnets in general depends on the item. Specifically, the coercivity of its magnetic medium, how much magnetic flux / energy it takes to alter it. For card stripes, they are classified as HiCo (High-Coercivity) or LoCo (Low-Coercivity). Credit cards are all HiCo. Access control cards, employee ID cards, and gift cards are also commonly HiCo. There is more concern with LoCo. I’ve read that hotel room keys, visitor badges, and season passes are more commonly LoCo. Not sure where the coercivity of audio tapes or diskettes fall. Seems for audio tapes at least it can be different depending on the tape you have. Compact Cassette tape types and formulations - Wikipedia

Luckily, magnetic flux falls off rapidly with distance, it may not be an issue at all. Hopefully, Framework can give flux numbers at the surface of the keyboard / touchpad.

Also note that a lot of cards have moved away from magnetic stripes. If you are tapping your card or “dipping” your card into a reader rather than smoothly sliding the edge through, then it’s rfid, nfc, or direct contact chip. Those are all completely immune to magnets. Even access cards are often rfid these days.

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I would assume any card with a magnetic strip would be mostly resistant to damage being exposed to a magnetic field.

All kinds. Into retro tech, so mostly 3.5" HD disks (not many 720k disks). I lost all my 5.25" disks and drives. I also have Zip disks.

I have so many different cassettes. Type I, II, and IV. Different brands and eras.

I’m just afraid of putting them on the top cover like I normally would without a second thought.

The older the tech is, the more likely it’s lower coercivity, and less resistant.

You want to be careful about putting low coercivity items on many laptops. Laptop lid sensors are usually magnetic. Sometimes the magnet is in the lid, but other times it’s at the edge of the palmrest. And it can be a fairly strong neodymium magnet. My Thinkpad has it in the palmrest, it’s quite strong, I’ve used it to hold screws when disassembling my mouse. Run a paperclip along the edge of your palmrest and top of the lid to check for a magnet.