Is RFID skimming a risk to you? The rather unhelpful answer to this question is potentially ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but we want to reassure you that there’s less need to worry than some press stories might suggest.
RFID stands for ‘Radio Frequency IDentification’. Passports, contactless credit/debit cards and other valuable items that you might carry about with you have RFID chips in them. They are what allow you to use in-store contactless payment systems or confirm your identity at an airport.
Skimming, or virtual pickpocketing, has been in the news a lot lately, with hackers showing how easy it can be to take sensitive information from RFID chips. The main concern is that the handsets they use can do this from perhaps a metre away, so the card owner is unlikely to know it’s happened until after the event.
Thankfully, there’s a simple answer to the problem in the form of RFID blocking credit card sleeves, wallets and passport pouches. They are thin, affordable and inhibit the transfer of your information. Larger bags and rucksacks are also available and you can even get RFID alarms that will tell you when someone is attempting to access the information on your RFID chip.
So, although technically you are at risk of RFID skimming, there’s such a simple solution that it really isn’t something to have sleepless nights over.