Javelin Strategy & Research released a study this year that found $16 billion was stolen from consumers in 2016. In the past 6 years, thieves were responsible for stealing more than $107 billion. With the recent Equifax security breach affect over 143 million U.S. and Canadian citizens by giving up access to social security numbers, credit cards, and recent addresses. It is clear that personal data security is a growing problem.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and uses radio waves to transmit your data. It is found in your drivers license, passport, and many other cards has a chip and antenna in them for wireless RFID communication, which means that sensitive information can be read remotely.
Many credit and debit cards allow consumers to use RFID chips, which means consumers can simply tap their card on the point-of-sale terminal and instantly the transaction is completed. The banks incorporated this technology to transmit the information; however, RFID scanners can pick up your credit card information within 3 feet.
The troubling part about the RFID technology on your items you typically carry in your wallet is that you don’t have to be conducting a transaction for a thief to gain access to your information. Using an RFID scanner, someone can target you as you walk down the street or enjoy your favorite sports game at the arena. Think of it as electronic pick pocketing.
According to Visa, there are an estimated 20 million RFID credit cards in use and over 150,000 vendors use this technology like: McDonald’s, CVS Pharmacy, and Regal Entertainment Group.
Look for these symbols on your debit/credit cards, passports, business access cards and public transportation cards to see if they use RFID or Near Field Communication (NFC) so you know if you are vulnerable to RFID hacking.
How Do You Protect Yourself From RFID Scanners?
Identity theft is a fact of life when living in the digital age. One solution is to block the RFID using some sort of jammer, which is known as a block tag. The block tag is able to simulate all the possible IDs present and that obstructs the RFID scanner. These block tags have been embedded into some portable devices such as wallets, purses, and sleeves. Linked below are some of the top selling RFID protective wallets that utilize this technology for identity security.