Embedded in major credit cards, passports issued by the United States and European Union member nations, and other forms of identification are chips that contain personal information. Radio frequency identification scanners read the information on these chips for various reasons, including verification of the identities of their holders.
Anyone with an RFID scanner, however, may capture the information stored on the chips even without presentation of the cards or documents. A few defensive measures may enable you to protect such information from identity thieves.
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Leave your RFID-enabled credit cards, passports and identification cards at home. This is the surest way to avoid RFID scanning. Take them with you only when you need them. While they are kept inside your home, lock them in a reinforced metal safe.
Wrap RFID-enabled credit cards and IDs in aluminium foil. After wrapping the cards, place them in your wallet. This will prevent identify thieves in public from scanning and stealing your private information.
Buy a special wallet to protect your credit cards, debit cards and identification cards. For international travel, purchase a protective passport sleeve. Both speciality items block RFID scans.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid using RFID-enabled credit and identification cards whenever possible.
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