Do you have Chips ……………..RFID Chips.
Last July 2012, I did an article about RIFD Chips in Credit Cards entitled “ALERT…Protect Your Credit Cards”. Here is some updated information.
An RFID is a tiny radio transmitter on a chip. Credit cards with an RFID chip transmit account information, like a name or account number, to a reader at a checkout counter. An RFID credit card is designed to be more convenient than swiping the card's magnetic strip through a reader; someone can easily wave his or her wallet over an RFID reader without even having to take the card out. Cards with RFID tags can be identified by a symbol featuring four curved lines, or by the words payPass, payWave or Blink. Customers with these cards can simply wave them at the POS and the RFID chip inside the card sends out a radio signal with the credit card information
Can you remove a chip? Joel Dublin of SearchSecurity says it is alright to drill it or cut it out but to be careful not to damage the magnetic strip or the embossed numbers on the front. If you damage these areas, the card will not work.
There is some discrepancy about how far from a card reader you have to be to have your credit information swiped. Last year we were told several feet away but recently the companies say unless you are 2-4 inches away, your data is safe.
Kevin Fu, a professor for Univ. of Mass, Amherst says that RFID chips are only in 3.5% of all credit/debit cards in the US. Also he says due to an absence of crime reports and the fact that the equipment to scan is pricy, many crooks are more interested in alternative methods. Counterfeiting the magnetic strips seems to be the more popular method for criminal activity.
Benefits: Because the technology doesn't require a cardholder to physically remove the card from a wallet, RFID can eliminate the need for waiters, retail clerks and other salespeople to physically touch your card. The man behind you in line won't get a chance to see your credit card info because you'll never have to take your card out plus it speeds the checkout process time in half.
Snopes.com posted October 2012, they feel this ‘electronic pick-pocket's does not seem to be as big of scare like first thought. If you are carrying a wallet full of cards, the scanner is not going to be able to read each card as it will be jumbled. Plus recently the credit card companies have started encrypting the data so that the scanners cannot read and copy it legibly.
I do not have a credit card with a RDIF chip but have a passport that has one. The older passports did not have them but newer ones do. I bought a sleeve to put the passport in and it will still fit in a passport case. To the best of my knowledge it has not been compromised. It is sad that our government is putting these chips in our passports. Snopes also says it is a good idea to keep your cards in a sleeve to protect the data. I purchased my passport sleeve online for just a few dollars. Just be careful with any cards that have this RDIF chip in it.
If you do become a victim, make sure to report it! Sometimes when you become a victim, it is hard to know how it occurred but if you have cards with readers, then you should tell the reporting officer.
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