Bought a new SIM card and decided you’re done with your old one? You can certainly remove the SIM card and throw it away. Alternatively, you can leave it laying around the house. After a period of inactivity on a pay-as-you-go SIM card and a prepaid SIM card, and when you don’t renew the contract for a postpaid SIM card, the carrier will deactivate it. However, there’s still information stored on a SIM card storage, which can be abused if it falls into the wrong hands. Luckily, we’ve come up with 10 sound methods to ensure no one will ever get the chance. Without further ado, this is how to destroy SIM card.
Tip: We’ll start with the easiest method and progress toward harder ones.
1. Snap the SIM card with your fingers
Take out the smallest available SIM card size, most likely a nano-SIM card, and snap it in half between your index and thumb fingers. Make sure it’s broken, not only severely bent. If you aren’t satisfied, go a step further and break it into multiple pieces.
2. Bury the SIM card
If you are a non-destructive type of person but still need an easy method, here it is. Simply dig a hole, drop it in, and enclose the SIM card with dirt again. First of all, it will be nearly impossible to find. Second of all, the moisture and grime from the ground will corrode the SIM card chip over time. Most SIM cards, although advertised as waterproof, can’t survive long-term water exposure.
3. Use scissors to destroy the SIM card
Going back to a physical method of SIM card destruction. Take your scissors and cut the SIM card across the middle of the chip. Since it takes no significant effort, feel free to cut it up into multiple pieces as well.
4. Submerge it into water
Switching it up for a non-violent way to break up the SIM card again. Fill the glass to approximately 1/3 of its volume with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Drop the SIM card and leave it there for a while. The salt in the water is corrosive to electronics and will tear down the SIM card.
5. Destroy SIM card with a hammer
This is a great technique for those who prefer to destroy the entire SIM card package because of the PIN, PUK, phone number, and serial numbers printed on it. Pick a sturdy surface such as hardwood or concrete surface. There’s no specific technique – let your wrists guide you. Simply make sure the SIM card is torn to shreds without injuring yourself.
6. Incinerate SIM card
In other words, destroy the SIM card with fire. No special tools are required if you’re already using fire-based heating in the house, or if you plan to go camping. If you’re dead-set on this method without the aforementioned methods, use a candle lighter so you don’t burn yourself.
7. Use a shredder machine to destroy SIM card
Got a paper shredder in your office or at home? First, read the product manual to make sure it’s compatible with plastic. Alternatively, check whether it has a credit or debit card icon on it. If so, demolish the SIM card by taking it for a round or two to the blades. Toss the plastic shavings out afterward.
8. Utilize a disintegrator machine or magnet
Although there are multiple types of disintegration, a common one used to wipe film, CDs, DVDs, HDDs is based on a strong electric or magnetic field that wipes the data clean. Many corporate offices use it for recycling and data wiping, and yours might have it too. Alternatively, if you have access to a powerful magnet such as older speakers, that could work too. Newer speakers have a shield, and won’t do. This is an inferior technique since it could be either hard or expensive to obtain the necessary tools. Also, it’s hard to verify that it was effective.
9. Utilize workshop tools
Do you have access to a workshop, or have your own? You can pack take the full-size SIM card or a mini-SIM card to a grinding belt and break up the SIM card into dust. Alternatively, a few touches of a circular saw can slice the SIM card into bits. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection. Obviously, this method is more for fun than for efficacy or convenience.
10. Use a power supply
In theory, a SIM card you cut up into pieces could be glued together, and the electronics soldered back together. This is highly improbable, mostly because no one will go to such great lengths unless you’re a VIP. However, you can burn the SIM chip down with electricity before using any of the other methods. A 5V power supply won’t be sufficient, but a 12 V power adapter, such as a netbook charger, or a variable power supply, will cause a short circuit in seconds. Don’t try this unless you have sufficient knowledge of electricity.
11. Call a recycle center
If there’s a specialized place nearby, take it there. While it’s the simplest method, it might not be convenient for most people. Also, you don’t get to witness the SIM card being destroyed, which is a dealbreaker for privacy-concerned users.