Over a Hundred Million new credit cards and passports contain RFID chips. This makes it very simple for the digital crook to electronically pick-pocket (so to speak) your credit card numbers and other data about you without even touching you!
Holy Cow Batman! Yep. And guess what. This is the time of year when it is most likely to happen—the holiday shopping season is about to begin. And all over the Miami-Dade area shopping malls, like Dadeland and Aventura, are shady types waiting to follow you into the stores with a little device under their arms.
On the net, you or anyone can find a RFID Reader and with the proper card cloner you can essentially steal the information and make a cloned card and step-out on a shopping spree.
So, how do you know if your credit card has one of these chips in them? It’s not so easy. Not all cards and official documents have logos identifying the chip. But, here is a short list of ones we do know have the chip.
Chase’s Blink Credit Card
Mastercard PayPass Credit Card
Many Corporate IDs
Many University IDs
United States Passports
And I think it’s safe to say, many more institutions will be using them. So how is one to protect oneself?
There are basically two mediums that block the RFID signal; Water & Metal. You can rule out using water to block the signal for obvious reasons. So, what kind of metal? The best and cheapest on the market is Aluminum (Al). (You can also use wire mesh, but I don’t recommend it—it can get messy and you probably don’t know which size of mesh to get).
So, Aluminum will block an RFID signal; specifically Al @ ~27 microns, AKA, heavy duty which is sold in virtually every grocery market in America.
Okay, now what? Well, there are companies out there that make custom wallets with this shielding embedded inside. Identity Stronghold is one of them. You can get sleeves, wallets and purses in a variety of styles and prices.
You can also save a lot of money by making your own protection wallet or purse. This guy will show you how. It works too, but if your vanity proclaims a snazzier wallet or purse, you may want to go with just buying one professionally made.
But, I don’t care much for how my wallet looks; I’m more into the functionality. So, I’ve found an even cheaper way to protect myself. I simply cut two pieces of Al to the size of my cards and slip them into the front and back of the slots in my wallet holding the cards. And bingo, I’m protected while the cards are in the wallet.
However, the moment I remove my cards, I’m not protected. So, be aware of people around you with what may look like an iPad or a PDA doing nothing but hovering around you in the Dadeland, Aventura, Sawgrass or the Dolphin malls, etc.
Remember guys and gals, we are going into the shopping season. This is when the bad guys come out after your money and information. For a few pennies you can increase your financial protection and save yourself a ton of grief with fraud reports and stolen time and money.
That’s it. Have a safe and happy holiday season guys.