Avoid Identity Theft by protecting the RFID chip in your Passport
Guest Blogger: Del Miller, the director of Armorblokk
ARMORBLOKK is a Canadian consumer security products design firm located in Toronto, Ontario. We are primarily focused on informing and protecting consumers from Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud. ARMORBLOKK design and engineer products that will provide security shielding for credit cards and passports, providing effective electromagnetic protection from these RFID scanners.
Based on a 2015 study by Nasdaq, U.S. credit card fraud is on the rise. About 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit cards breached in 2014, more than three times the number affected in 2013. Similarly in Canada reported cases have escalated almost 35% from 2008 to 2014, with approximately $550 million total reported losses for 2014.
Electronic Pickpocketing (also called Skimming or Scanning) targets consumer smart cards (particularly Credit & Bank Cards) and Passports with embedded RFID chip technology.
If you are reading this article you are most likely in love with travel. You find great pleasure boarding a plane destined for a new region of the world with exciting cultures, sights and food to explore. Travel is amazing, all you need is a valid passport (maybe a visa) and some money, then you are off.
However not to rain on your vacation but there is something real important that you must be aware of. Your newly issued passport has an embedded RFID microchip that contains a bevy of details about you. Information you would not want falling into the wrong hands, especially while travelling in some foreign regions. Most likely you also have a credit card with a similar embedded RFID microchip exposing you to even more risk.
Specifically concerning passports, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have defined standards for how data must be encoded for smart cards (including credit and bank cards) and electronic documents such as ePassport. ISO also includes, Machine Readable Travel Document (MRTD), a standard for encoding information about individuals for use in cross-border travel in a smart card or passport.
Unfortunately, there are readily available smartphone apps such as NFC TagInfo that can be downloaded to Android devices, this app is free and can be used to read the data stored on your passports or credit cards. The malicious user simple needs to be close enough to you for the app to scan the data from your passport. Just imagine what more could be done with more sophisticated/powerful hardware and software, it’s almost scary.
This form of Identity Theft is a growing threat that travellers need to be more aware of and need to take precautions to shield your valuables against it. A simple solution is to protect your passports and credit cards with RFID blocking technology such as those manufactured and supplied by ARMORBLOKK
ARMORBLOKK RFID Blocking Security Sleeves provide electromagnetic shielding for your passports and credit cards. As you travel, keep your valuable credit cards and passports securely inserted into a security sleeve to keep them protected at all times.
While vacationing practice a bit a caution and keep your mind on the sun, fun, culture and food.
ARMORBLOKK is offering 10% off their Family pack to all Travel Link readers. When you place an order on their site don’t forget to include the discount code “TRAVELSAFE”. The promotion is for a one time use only.