What is RFID?

What is RFID? It’s talked about in the news and products are being made to block RFIDs. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Radio waves are used to identify people or objects. You can find them in your computer, passport, credit cards, uniforms, product packaging and more. A convenience for many businesses to use for identification and analytic s but for the individual important information can be stolen.

RFID readers can be bought for under $150 and can be easily used to steal information from your phones, credit cards, passports and more. Depending on the frequency, a thief can be anywhere from 1 to 15 feet from you and scan your information. How can you protect yourself from having this information stolen? Two substances can block RFID signals: water and metal. Since we can’t put our items in water, metal is the obvious choice to use. You could wrap your items in aluminum foil or put duct tape all over your wallet but for most of us we don’t want to unwrap our belongings. Many products are being made that have linings to protect your cards, id’s and anything else from being scanned. Colorado Bag’n Baggage stores have a variety of RFID blocking products from Travelon, Lewis N. Clark and Pacsafe.

How do you know if your credit cards or passport can be scanned? All US passports issued after October 2006 can be scanned. You will see the wave logo on your credit cards or may see the phrase Pay pass. Anything that you can wave in front of something to identify yourself or pay for something has RFID.
Here’s a great video that shows how your information can easily be scanned.

As we move to more and more technology that relies on RFID, it is important that you protect yourself. How do you keep your information secure when you travel?

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