Posted on Feb 12, 2012 in Money & finances, Tech & internet
I have heard about devices that can “read” credit card data, even when your credit cards are inside your wallet. Is this true?
Can your credit cards be read right from inside your wallet? Yes and no…
First, only some credit cards have RFID (radio frequency identification) tags or chips embedded in them. An example of this are AMEX Blue or “Paypass” enabled cards. The idea is that being able to simply tap or pass your card over the RFID reader (such as ExpressPay), you can make transactions more quickly and conveniently.
But of course, any time a system is supposed to be simple to use, it’s also likely to be simpler to abuse.
With the right equipment, an individual could “interrogate” the card, and the card would send it an encrypted string. The “hacker” would need to know how to decrypt that data to get your card number. It’s possible, but there is not a huge risk (besides, you can only be liable for up to $50 in fraudulent charges by law, but most cards advertise zero liability).
If you are still concerned, put your credit cards in a protective RF-attenuating security sleeve made for this purpose, or get an RFID blocking wallet. Here are four we found:
1: Travelon RFID Blocking Ladies Wallet
2: Travel Smart By Conair RFID Blocking Passport Wallet
3: Trademark Home Aluminum Credit Card Wallet RFID Blocking Case
4: Magellan’s RFID Blocking Security Travel Wallet
Credit cards aren’t the only things using RFID technology. They’re also in most recently-issued passports, passport cards, and in “enhanced” driver’s licenses.
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