What Is, About, and How RFIDs Work.
RFID is the acronym for Radio Frequency Identification Device. In other words, it is a small microchip that broadcasts whatever information is put in it. These devices have been around for years.
Las Vegas casinos put them in their higher denomination chips. So when you walk around the casino, show up at a blackjack table etc.; casino personnel know about those chips in your pocket.
Retail stores randomly hide RFID’s or their equivalent in their merchandise throughout the store. So if you pick up an item and “forget” to pay for it, when you try walking through the scanners at the front door; you are dead. A word to the wise.
As far as I’m concerned, so far so good as to the above uses for RFID’s. Nailing shoplifters is always a good thing. And as for Las Vegas, I haven't been there in decades.
Unfortunately, it’s not going to end there.Welcome to your future (actually, it's already here).
RFID microchips have arrived on credit cards, debit cards, and drivers licenses in some states. In many cases, all one has to do is just wave their card at the point-of-sale (POS) machine to complete a transaction, or maybe even just stand in front of the thing.
Unfortunately, there is also a very deleterious offshoot to this technology. Namely, anyone with a scanner can just stand close to you and instantly acquire all your personal information. ID theft is entering a whole, new realm.
And if you happen to have a specific store credit card when you visit that store, the employees will instantly know everything you ever bought there, the last time you visited, your home address and telephone number, etc.
All of this is not a good thing…
How to Block RFIDs and RFID Scanners
However, there are ways to combat this vulnerability. There are already metal cases and such that you can buy online to prevent this kind of ID theft, simply place the cards in the metal envelope to prevent information access. The store thing doesn’t bother me that much, but a person standing close to me in the checkout line is an entirely different matter, or someone "accidentally” bumping into you on the street, etc.
Personally, the first one of these cards I'm forced to use, I’ll try wrapping it in aluminum foil and see if that works.
Hopefully this post will prevent an ID theft or two.