Newer passports and an increasing number of driver’s licenses and credit cards have an RFID chip embedded in them. Setting aside some larger concerns about privacy and safety, these chips have data on them that makes it very easy for thieves to steal your identity.
According to a video report done at the 2008 O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, a person can buy a reader for just a small sum of money that will take all the data from your RFID chip, allowing them to use your card as though it were their own.
So what to do? There are a number of choices for protecting your data. The least expensive solution is to make your own RFID-blocking wallet with duct tape and aluminum foil.
If the duct-tape-and-aluminum look is not your style, there are a several companies selling products that will do the job as well:
- DIFRWear‘s leather wallets and passport holders
- Kena Kai’s collection of leather wallets and passport holders
- The Ogon aluminum wallet at Amazon.com
- Stewart/Stand’s collection of stainless-steel wallets
- Travelon’s line of ballistic nylon wallets, passport holders, and boarding pass holders
None of these links get me anything, in case you are wondering; I have nothing to sell here and will not profit in any way. I am simply sharing the information.