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RFID is short for Radio-frequency identification. It is now being used by millions of people in all kinds of ways. It is used for Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC)
Using electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects their use is becoming more and more common. They have many uses from being used to track the progress of an item during production to monitor its progress, to being implanted into our pets making them easy to identify should they ever stray. They are attached to clothing, food, furnishing and many other products.
They are also embedded in our passports and credit cards, storing all of our personal information and making it easy for us to pay for our goods with the swipe of a card. But just how safe is this?
Many of us have gone to the checkout whilst having a coffee on the go or to pay for the clothes for the hot date they have that evening only to be told, whilst fumbling in their bag for their credit card, that it has already been paid using a contactless card!!! It sounds wonderful, to be able to pay for something without all the fuss of putting in your pin or signing your name. But what you don’t realise is that it could have been paid by a card that you did not want to use or even by someone else’s card as they stand in the queue. A card can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within direct line-of-sight of the scanner.
With thieves becoming more and more advanced in the technology needed to steal an identity just by passing by their victim we need to be thinking of how we can stop them.
You could ask your card provider to send you a traditional magnetic-stripe card instead of a contactless version, which they may do, or you could protect yourself with RFID blocking sleeves which stop thieves and store scanners from reading your information. Not only are they available for your credit cards, they are available for your passport too.