Back to Basics: What is RFID?

Credit Card Chip, Radio Waves, RFID, RFID Skimmers -

Back to Basics: What is RFID?

What is RFID? 

There’s a lot of talk these days about the modern technology known as RFID and most people don’t know what it is. RFID protection and RFID blocking is difficult to understand if you don’t know what you’re protecting against or blocking from. 

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects, which contain electronically stored information. Objects that are attached to a tag, unlike a barcode, do not need to be within direct line-of-sight of the reader to be captured. 

RFID is one method of Automatic Identification and Data Capture and is used in many industries. For example, an RFID tag attached to a car during production can be used to to track its progress through the assembly line or animals can be implanted with RFID microchips to allow for positive identification. 

Because RFID tags can be attached to people, their accounts, cash and possessions, the availability of personally-linked information without consent raises serious privacy concerns. 

RFID Protection 

If you carry credit cards in your wallet that are embedded with a chip, as most are these days, you are at risk—someone could steal your information just by standing next to you. That’s why RFID Protection is so important. 

RFID skimming is a form of digital theft—it enables information from RFID based smart cards to be read and duplicated. It can be used as a form of wireless identity theft or credit card theft as well as other forms of information theft. Typically it works by the unauthorized reading of RFID chips at a distance using an RFID reader device, which downloads the card information. 

RFID protection is an incredibly practical and significant way to protect yourself from the horrible mess that is identity theft. 

RFID Blocking

Fortunately, radio waves are relatively easy to interrupt and block. An RFID blocking device or RFID sleeve works by encasing your credit cards in a material that interferes with radio waves. When an RFID blocking sleeve is properly constructed, it will block all electromagnetic fields and prevent communication between your cards and RFID skimmers. 

Bottom Line 

While you still may not understand the intricacies of RFID, consider yourself a step ahead if you choose RFID protection. While contactless payment methods and RFID tags are designed for convenience—and they certainly are—they contain a risk. Thankfully, with RFID protection and RFID blocking devices and sleeves, you can keep yourself safe and have one less thing to worry about.

 

 


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