RFID - WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Security is one of the number one things most people want more of.

Since the beginning of time, it is our natural instinct to protect what is ours. We work hard for our job, our home and our finances, and ensuring these valuables safe and secure is important to everyone.

As we move further and further into the digital age, we have less use for hoarding our savings under a mattress, or in a safe. Now, we have everything available at our finger tips, and as we move towards a cashless society in the next 10 to 15 years, security over our digital devices has never been more important.

We carry more data and information around with us than ever before - digital banking on our phone, passwords to our social profiles, bank accounts and crypto wallets.

 

For these digital assets, it's important to implement as much security measures as possible - two factor authentication, secure and regularly update your passwords.

Likewise, our credit cards also house information that, in the wrong hands could could be extremely detrimental to our financial security.

With a rise in identity theft, and RFID skimming, it's important to take the correct measures to protect your cards also. 

WHAT IS RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. What this means is any object or device that houses an RFID unit has an identification through a very specific and unique radio frequency.

The RFID unit sends out radio frequencies that act as an identifying frequency. These frequencies can be read by devices such as credit card scanners in the supermarket or on the high street. You tap your credit card on the screen to pay for your items.

The device then reads the RFIDs information and processes the transaction in seconds.

It's that easy. And like any technology, there are going to be bad people trying to capitalise on these systems for their own good.

HOW YOU ASK?: 

Scammers will try to get your cards RFID information through a number of ways, and then use that information to make transactions under the identity of the card holder.

Here we will list a few ways in which scammers steal credit card information. 

 

IN-SLOT SKIMMERS

These are possibly the most common types of skimmers. Scammers will place very small devices in the slots that you would put your credit card into - think ATMs outside of gas stations, parking meters etc. 

To mitigate these risks, make sure you are familiar with the business in which you are carrying out transactions. Use reputable ATM machines within malls or banks themselves. Try to avoid ATMs in small stores, or outside of these buildings. 

If you need to use one of these machines, try to examine the slot itself to see if there are any external or unusual devices attached to the machine. If you are in any way unsure, best to be safe and not use the machine.

DRIVE-BY SKIMMING

With technology improving year on year, and with most credit cards now offering the 'tap to pay' feature,  criminals are becoming more and more creative with how they carry out these crimes.

This type of skimming involves the scammer getting close enough contact with your RFID system to skim the information. 

This usually happens in crowded spaces and will seem like an innocent bump (like pickpockets). They will not always even need to touch you or your card to get its information. 

Because there does not need to be any physical scanning, you are more susceptible if you have this type of credit card. These criminals can use RFID scanners to steal your information right through the pockets in your shirts or jeans with the power of electromagnetic fields. This sensitive information is often then uploaded to the dark web. 

Luckily, this sort of skimming can be prevented. At Cullen Wayne we equip our wallets with RFID protection. This means that the cards housed in this wallet are not able to be scanned by walking by.

At Cullen Wayne', our philosophy is the bridge the gap between style and function,  and we design all our wallets with top-of-the-line leather and space grade aluminum, ensuring you the best in class quality and protection.