What if I say that the data of your credit card or biometric ID can be easily stolen just by staying nearby to you in the shopping line? If you take your credit card with you and enjoy using PayPass (contactless payments) then you are probably at risk.
How can it be possible?
To understand this we need to know how contactless payments work. You credit card has an RFID embedded chip or correctly to name it “tag” and this tag contains your credit card information, like Name, CC number, expiry. When you tap to pay, terminal rays the RFID tag on your credit card, it activates and sends data back. Transaction complete.
How hackers can get your card/passport data?
There are RFID scanners/readers widely available on the popular online shopping malls. The price of a simple one can start from $50. It will be able to scan the token from the credit card RFID tag and then to write it to another card or simply save the data. Yes, there is some protection used by the credit cards and we will not go in-depth about it here but this will not be a problem for people with appropriate skills.
How to protect RFID
- RFID on the card activates from several inches, so do not pass your card to anybody. But if there are people in 1 meter, there is probably nothing to worry about.
- If you travel and want your cards to be safe, just wrap it in a piece of foil and it will be safe.
- There are plenty of RFID protected wallets and even cloths by popular brands now available. So you can put your card in such wallet.