There has been a dramatic rise in the frequency of use of electronic technology to read
the information from the radio frequencies on the chip cards (RFID) that have
the norm on credit cards.
Scanning devices used by thieves can easily retrieve information from a distance, up
to 12 feet away or more. These new scanners seem to be on the rise and are being used by ‘thieves’ to steal people’s information from credit cards and similar items, because they can be successful even from several feet away. That is a lot less risky than picking pockets.
This has made travelers especially rightfully concerned and as a result an entirely new industry has spawned to protect these cards from those electronic readers.
This is a true protectionist move which most people should act upon whether you travel around the world or around the block. The wallets, bags and other units that contain the new RFID protection are not much more expensive than any other product of the same quality.
You may have heard different information about whether or not the new
Canadian passports can be scanned by electronic devices.
While the new Canadian epassports are utilizing this RFID process, officials
assure us that no additional passport wallet will be required to protect
information that is contained on the document.
In order for it to be read by someone trying to gain that information, they
would have to be within ten centimetres of the reader. In addition to that the
passport book would actually have to be opened to Page 2 at the time where the
most sensitive information is contained.
Passport Canada suggests that it is extremely unlikely that information that
resides on the chip can be captured without your knowledge.
However RFID chip protection for your credit cards and other similar information containing
units is and entirely different matter. At first this was a problem that seemed to be confined to the major tourist cities of the world. That is no longer the case. It is becoming pervasive even
in Canada and the rest of North America.
To protect yourself these chips should be shielded when you travel, and at home for that matter. It is not as though thieves have a respect for geography.
The problem is severe and growing.
The scanning devices are not that expensive and thieves are now using them
more and more.
To top that off, a previous expose on CBC television reported that a free app can be
loaded onto your cellphone that can do the same theft from your wallet and then
use the information immediately to purchase product.
This option was later removed, but this makes it scary.
Here are some of the best and reasonably inexpensive options for your consideration. I know these products and as I said it is not the RFID film that is costly. This protection can be in a $5 wallet or a $500 bag.
You can see any number of others online.
Send your travel questions or travel comments to firstname.lastname@example.org