WHAT is RFID Anyway?
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Pacsafe RFIDsafe V100 RFID-Blocking Bi-fold Wallet[/caption]
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Lewis N Clark RFID Waist Stash For sale at Luggage Factory[/caption]
Radio-frequency Identification, also known as RFID, is a wireless, electronic way to transmit data so that items or even people and pets, can be identified. The information is transmitted from the object using radio waves. Some uses are tracking products during the manufacturing process; identifying your pets; storing credit card and passport data and even determining the location of your luggage on some cruise ships!
What does this mean for the traveler? First, any passport issued after 2006 has an RFID chip embedded inside. Information contained on that chip is the same as that printed on your passport. Second, your new credit card has an RFID chip as well. In this case, the information contained on the chip is the same as that on the magnetic strip. Popular in Europe, “chip and pin” credit cards are becoming the norm in the USA and by later in 2015, merchants will be liable for fraudulent charges if they have not switched to chip and pin readers. Chip and pin cards are much more secure than their current counterparts.
In spite of new technology, RFID chips have resulted in more ways for potential fraud. Since data is transmitted electronically, your data can be stolen without the passport or credit card leaving your wallet or purse. Data can be stolen, and thieves can make a new credit card that they can use to make fraudulent charges using your account information. You wouldn’t know this had happened until it was too late.
How can you protect yourself? By purchasing RFID-blocking sleeves or cases for your credit cards and passports or passport cards. You can also find wallets, purses, backpacks and business cases with RFID blocking fabric inside. You will NOT know if such items actually work…but you WILL know if they don’t! Travel safely and protect your personal information.