Protecting Your RFID-equipped Credit Card

credit-card-security-rfid-blogSome latest estimates show that in recent years, over 1 billion credit cards and IDs have been released with an RFID chip.

You may have already heard about the new payment form from many large retailers. With this technology, you just need to wave your credit card at the counter in close proximity to a payment station and the payment processor will automatically read your credit card information. It simplifies and speeds up payments when you make purchases.

However, since you do not have to enter any form of authorization to make the payment, a third party may also exploit the signal from your credit cards. Although they need to get real close to the location of the credit card, usually within 2-4 inches, that’s not a problem if you are standing in line or in crowded places. Thus, security becomes a major concern.

Find out if your credit card has an RFID chip

To find out whether a credit card has an RFID chip, you can observe your card and find out whether it has a radial symbol (see the image). If it does, then the card supports RFID. Also, if the card says PayPass, payWave or Blink, it also has RFID capabilities.

Protect your credit card from leaking information

If you do not use the new payment options at all, you can ask your bank for a credit card without RFID chip. Although costs may be involved, it is the best way to make sure no one else is able to read your cards data.

If else, you can buy protective sleeves, like an Aluminum wallet, for your cards and IDs that block the signal from being picked up, or use Tinfoil as a low cost alternative for that.

Or you could alternatively try and remove the RFID chip from the card, with a hammer perhaps… Well, just kidding. But this passage is just a caution for you, for only very few people notice that there could be an RFID chip on the credit cards.