These days, keeping your personal data secure is very important.
Many cards we carry have our information embedded in them, and anyone with the right equipment can scan them and access your details.
Passports now have embedded chips, as well as many credit cards, transport tickets, and other "smart chip" cards.
So what does RFID mean? RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification.
It is a way of transmitting unique information. RadioFrequency devices are part of a system - so you need a device with information, a scanner to transmit the information, and a receiver to decode the information.
Small chips that carry data (eg in your passport) are scanned with a radio frequency scanner (which can even be handheld), and the chips then transmit their data to the receiving device (or decoder) , usually a small computing device.
Anyone can purchase scanning antennae and receiving equipment. So anyone could scan your chips to get your information. All they do then is to reproduce your chip information, and away they go!
The good news is that you can secure your sensitive information and block the signal from the scanner. There are many products on the market to do this, from an inexpensive paper envelope (coated with shielding) to purses, wallets and bags with inbuilt blocking.
RFIDsafe technology protects your credit card and passport information
RFID chips can be found in most passports, credit cards and public transport tickets (like London's Oyster card and Melbourne's Myki). The RFID chip in the card emits radio transmissions that make them easy to use, but this also means that they can be read or downloaded by thieves by using a hand-held RFID reader from up to 3m away. All the information on your passport including your name, date of birth, digital photograph, issue and expiry date as well as biometric information can be accessed from your passport and the account name, issue date, expiry date and account number can be taken from your credit cards.
The best way to protect yourself from identity theft is to keep your passport and credit cards in a Pacsafe RFIDsafe wallet that is designed to block RFID readers from accessing your data.
We recommend to everyone to purchase RFID blocking. - See more at: http://www.travelgear.com.au/rfid-protection
See article links below to stories about RFID theft.