There Are Plenty Of RFID-Blocking Products, But Do You Need Them?
hackers can access your credit card data wirelessly, through something called radio frequency identification, or RFID
card has a tiny RFID sensor chip. These chips are supposed to make life easier by emitting radio signals for fast identification. The technology helps keep track of livestock and inventory. It makes automatic payment on toll roads and faster scanning of passports possible, and, starting around 2004, brought us contactless payment with certain credit cards.
REI and other companies sell a range of RFID-blocking products and say the number of customers looking for travel bags and credit card sleeves has been growing. That’s despite the fact that the percentage of credit cards with RFID chips in the U.S. is extremely small.
Still, people are worried about electronic pickpocketing — worried enough to strap on RFID-blocking fanny packs, even skinny jeans. In 2014, the San Francisco-based clothing company Betabrand partnered with Norton Security to create the first pair of denim with RFID protected pockets.
Eva Velasquez, president of the Identity Theft Resource Center, says from a consumer perspective, deciding whether to invest in RFID-blocking technology is all about evaluating risk. In the next few years, there will undoubtedly be millions more of these cards on the market.
if you’re worried about e-pickpocketing but don’t want to spend much money, you can make your own blocking wallet or wrap your cards or passport in a thick piece of aluminum foil. According to Consumer Reports, that works as well as most RFID protectors on the market.
more on cybersecurity in this IMS blog