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  • Editing Team 09:07 on December 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Stop Worrying, and Embrace RFID 

    stop-worrying-embrace-RFID-blogRadio-frequency identification (RFID) is a convenient technology of using embedded chips as a form of tracking and authentication. It is now fairly common to have pets implanted with RFID chips, so that they can be identified even without a collar.

    As more and more RFID products are being put into use, there has been a number of religious and privacy advocates opposing the technology. Yet in reality, RFID isn’t that scary, and we should embrace it.

    Now, some schools require students to wear RFID-equipped badges so they can track students’ movement on campus for funding and truancy purposes. One of the students in these schools refused to wear the badge on religious and privacy grounds. In response, the school suspended her until she agrees to use the school ID. Thus a legal battle ensued, and a judge temporarily lifted the school suspension until the case can proceed later.

    In fact, these concerns are minor and based on fear of technology. The case mentioned above is just a tinfoil hat situation on a larger scale than normal. Besides, the low-tech method of having teachers taking roll call in class is even more inconvenient and time-consuming. If this was legitimately about privacy concerns, advocates would be against roll call in school as well. Instead, this whole situation is about fear-mongering — not privacy concerns.

    Although there are some issues concerning the technology, specifically relating to other people accessing the information on the chip, this can be solved as the technology advances. Preventing unauthorized access to the chip’s data is a problem, but it can be handled with cryptography. For example, using a PIN or rolling code can thwart evil-doers successfully. Besides, some manufacturers are now concerning biometric technology on mobile devices. In the future, it may become an effective means of identification. But if you are still worried about other people reading your RFID chip, you can cover it in an RF-blocking wallet

    Behavior is the real problem here — not technology. RFID is a useful tool and it’s already being used by big companies like Wal-mart and organizations like the Department of Defense in the United States for authentication and tracking purposes.

    Yes, it’s true that RFID might be abused by some evil-doers, but it’s just like anything else and the technology isn’t inherently bad. After all, common technology like smartphones and tablets are more susceptible to nefarious use. Thus we should embrace RFID and stop worrying about the tech so much. Just give it a break.

     
  • Editing Team 17:41 on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Zippo’s Stainless Steel Wallet Prevents RFID-using Criminals 

    Zippo-stainless-steel-wallet-prevent-criminal-rfid-blog1

    As is known, RFID technology uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to take data from a tag on an object or a card, which may be used by thieves from yards away.

    Therefore, concerns over the potential threats of RFID have grown as awareness about how many products contains RFID tags has increased. RFID tags can be found in medications, clothing, and other goods to track them throughout the manufacturing process.

    Zippo-stainless-steel-wallet-prevent-criminal-rfid-blog2Zippo has a solution. Its wallet is encased in stainless steel and can prevent RFID-using criminals from swiping your credit card information, just like a small safe in your pocket or purse.

    The new Zippo wallet’s stainless steel outer shell not only gives the wallet a sleek look, but also blocks RFID with its RF shield.

    It features six slots for credit cards, an I.D. window and money pocket.

    The wallet is priced at $49.95 and is available on Zippo.com.

     
  • Editing Team 16:46 on September 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Blokket Pocket Prevents RFID-chipped Devices from RFID Theft 

    Nowadays, as RFID chips are making their way into everything from handsets to passports, people are paying more attention to the security problem. So far, the only way to make sure you’re secure would be to block all wireless frequencies from reaching your IDs and gadgets. ThinkGeek’s solution is the Blokket, a small pouch which can hold mobile devices or RFID-chipped IDs while blocking them from receiving any incoming wireless signals.

    Blokket-block-radio-frequency-theft-rfid-blog1

    The Blokket is made from nylon and silver and works like a mini Faraday cage, isolating whatever’s inside from outside connections. Sized at 8″ x 5.75″ (20 x 15 cm), the pouch is large enough to hold any cell phone and chipped credit cards, IDs, passports, etc. It is said that the fabric is able to block 99.7% of radio frequencies, thus making it out of the question to steal your data.

    Blokket-block-radio-frequency-theft-rfid-blog2

    Yet the Blokket is probably more useful for RFID-chipped IDs than for cell phones, since most mobile devices can either be set to Airplane Mode or just switched off entirely. In addition, leaving a phone inside the pouch while it’s in active mode will probably drain the battery faster, since the phone will use extra energy searching for a signal.

    ThinkGeek is currently selling the Blokket Signal Blocking Phone Pocket for US$24.99.

     
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