There’s an entire industry surrounding the protection of your RFID cards, but some industry experts are already speaking out against the newfangled gadgets.
Why? Because while hacking of RFID items is certainly within the realm of possibility, it’s just not a viable threat, especially not in comparison to other behaviors that can leave you at risk.
What is RFID, you ask?
This letter designation is attributed to technologies that transmit radio frequency, which includes certain credit cards like the ones that can transmit automatic payments without being “swiped.” However, not all new credit cards are actually RFID-capable, meaning they offer the new gold chip system for payment but they are not transmitting anything.
There is a theory that hackers can use scanning devices to steal your information off your card just by walking close to you, but that concept is more suited to demonstrations at electronics conferences and is far from reality. The companies that produce special (expensive) wallets and purses to block RFID scanning hope you don’t realize that, of course.
Is there any harm in protecting your credit cards in an RFID-safe wallet?
Certainly not, if it gives you a sense of security. But if that kind of protective technology causes you to let your guard down in other ways that really could hurt you, then that becomes a problem.
There are far better behaviors you could adopt if you want to keep your information and your funds safe:
– First, make sure you’re requesting copies of your credit report on a regular basis, and looking over those reports for any signs of suspicious activity.
– Next, make sure all of your online accounts are protected with strong, unique passwords.
– Finally, sign up for the TMI Weekly to stay in the know about potential threats to your identity/privacy and tips to keep you safe.
There are many things you can do to minimize your chances of identity theft and fraud, and if it gives you peace of mind to secure your cards in a special wallet, do so. Just don’t overlook the other habits that can lead to a better sense of security and a reduced risk of becoming a victim.
Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.