Do magnets corrupt the data on the disc?

Question: Someone posted about ‘strong’ Bio-Flow magnets. How strong is strong? – i.e.: if you’re wearing them on your wrists, and you handle a floppy disc, are they strong enough to corrupt the data on the disc? Anyone know?

Answer 1: The Bio-Flo magnet bracelet which I use appears to be very cleverly designed. Although I don’t know exactly how it works, only one “face” of the magnetic part of the bracelet is magnetised – that is the part which points inward (i.e. into your wrist). This means that the outside edge of the bracelet is completely “safe”. I have never experienced any problems with handling magnetically sensitive things like floppy disks or credit cards – but I wouldn’t leave them loose in a bag together, as contact with the magnet may damage the data. I really don’t know too much about the technical specifications of the bracelets so if you or anyone else wants further details I can pass you the contact address of the manufacturer.

Answer 2: I doubt that a permanent magnet (i.e. not an electromagnet) would have much effect on floppies, credit cards etc, unless perhaps rubbed very fast over the surface. An alternating current electromagnet (if I remember my physics correctly) would be needed to have such an effect. But the way to be sure about a particular magnet is to take a floppy, write a couple of files onto it, rub the floppy with the magnet a few times, and try reading (and writing) the floppy afterwards.

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