You’ve probably heard at least something about RFID over the past couple of years… However, how much do you really know? RFID is growing in popularity at a rapid rate, so, to bring you up to date we decided to explain what RFID is, what the current security risks associated with it are, and most importantly, how you can protect yourself.
What is RFID?
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is the use of radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object. A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked. The chip typically is capable of carrying 2,000 bytes of data or less.
RFID devices serve the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic strip on the back of a credit card or ATM card; it provides a unique identifier for that object. Similarly to the way barcode or magnetic strip must be scanned to get the information, the RFID device must be scanned to retrieve the identifying information.
What is the issue with RFID?
Like any other security devices RFID is not flawless, and despite its widespread application and usage, RFID poses security threats and challenges that need to be addressed. One of the most important points which arise is the fact that people can make payments just by touching the card to a scanner rather than swiping across or inserting into a terminal. However, this has opened the door for people to buy personal scanners and steal from your wallet without you realising, this is called RFID skimming.
What’s the solution?
Luckily, there is a solution for the issue such as RFID-blocking wallets. The wallets are designed to help protect you from the skimming meaning your data is protected. Radio waves are relatively easy to block, and that’s how aN RFID-blocking wallet works. The wallet covers your credit cards in a material that interferes with radio waves. If the wallet is properly constructed, it will block all electromagnetic fields and prevent communication between your cards and RFID scanners, meaning skimming is ineffective, and you are protected.