RFID - it's not a collection of letters that sound particularly frightening out of context, however without the right protection, it could be the reason you fall victim to one of the most devastating privacy crimes - identity theft. The chances are that by now you've seen people walking around with RFID-blocking sleeves for their cards. In fact, there are even a few ways to make your own RFID-blocking wallets if you don't mind the bulky home-made look. However, you might still be asking yourself whether you really need RFID protection for your credit card.
Defending Your Wallet
The choice of what to put in your wallet used to be a simple one. You'd stuff each pouch full of membership cards, credit cards, debit cards, and cash, and fill up the empty space with loose receipts and change. However, as new technology becomes increasingly popular today - particularly in the world of contactless payment, there's a new factor to think about.
Contactless cards offer consumers convenience by allowing them to simply tap the top of their card onto a device to pay for products and services. This means no more wasting time remembering and entering your pin number when you're in a rush. Unfortunately, the technology that makes contactless payment work, is also what makes RFID protecting for your credit card so essential.
How RFID Protection for Your Credit Card Works
RFID blocking sleeves, wallets, and even materials used in money security pouches are designed to help protect consumers from a worrisome form of electronic pickpocketing known as RFID skimming. The concern behind this crime is that many passports, driver's licenses, and credit cards come with embedded radio frequency identification chips. When these chips are activated by an RFID reader, they transmit information wirelessly, so that you can make a purchase or verify your identity in an instant.
The downside of this technology is that it requires RFID protection for your credit card, as without protection, anyone with an RFID reader will be able to activate your chip and pick up any of the information they are designed to transmit. Hackers have been able to make the headlines over the years by showing off just how easy it can be for a handheld RFID reader to skim through sensitive information at a distance of several feet. With these scanners, fraudsters can get their hands on names, origins, and even whole credit card numbers.
Do you Need RFID Protection for Your Credit Card?
Although you may never come across someone with an RFID scanner in your life, RFID protection technology is one of the many things that most people would rather have and never use, than be caught without. These wallets impede the RFID signal from your credit card and other chips, making it harder for people to read them remotely. What's more, the price of these sleeves and other great accessories are so low that it barely costs anything to access a whole new form of protection.