July 22, 2015 2 min read
In the digital age we live in simply losing your wallet isn’t the only threat you have to worry about when traveling overseas. Now, potential crooks can use RFID technology to steal your credit card numbers, and therefore your money, without stealing anything off you at all.
You need to arm yourself against RFID before your next trip.
What is RFID?
RFID is an acronym for radio-frequency identification. It’s found in electronic devices that contain a small chip and antenna that, when used in conjunction, are capable of scanning barcodes or magnetic strip across both long and short distances. They work similarly to a scanner you might see in the checkout line at a grocery store or Starbucks.
While they can make parts of your life easier, they also have one enormous downside—criminals can use them to scan the magnetic strip of your credit card without having to touch it. Sometimes they’re strong enough to reach through your pocket and into your wallet without you knowing it happened. Now, the thief has all your card information and can use it to make purchases and you’re completely clueless because you still have your card.
Sometimes a thief, or hacker, will bump into an unsuspecting traveler on the street and provide the close contact needed to scan a credit card. Other times, they only need to be within a few feet of the victim.
Today, just about every important item in your wallet from credit cards to electronic passports contains and is susceptible to RFID technology.
How Do I Stop It?
Consumers have caught onto the use of RFID scanners and retailers are creating effective ways to stop it. It’s never a great idea to carry all of your personal belongings with you as you travel, but you definitely need to have your passport and a credit card or two on hand.
For men, a compact RFID-blocking wallet is a great tool to have to keep your card information safe while also allowing you to carry some cash. There are also passport protectors that block RFID scanners from accessing your personal information.
Pacsafe has multiple options when it comes to RFID-blocking purses and pouches as well. They also have waist wallets, or fanny packs, that block out transmissions from scanners that will fit all of your pertinent belongings including your passport, cards, cash and maybe a few extras.
If you’d rather keep things light you can always opt for credit card sleeve that’ll fit up to two or three cards and can slip easily into your pocket.
Traveling in this day in age without technology that can block out a hacker isn’t a wise choice. It doesn’t make much difference which option you choose as long as you equip yourself with something to block out RFID scanners.
The next time you’re planning a trip be sure to beef up your personal security by investing in an RFID blocker of some sort, whether it’s a wallet, travel organizer or purse.
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