Must-Have RFID Travel Gear That Will Help Protect You When You Travel

September 22, 2015

What is RFID?

A radio frequency identification device (RFID) is like an electronic homing pigeon.  Used in everything from passports to pets, RFIDs are smaller than a grain of rice yet mighty locating devices.  Originally used to track military aircraft in the 1950s, RFIDs were tracking livestock by the 1980s, and, by the 1990s, RFIDs were collecting tolls and tracking retail inventories.  By the mid-2000s, the use of RFIDs had soared worldwide, findings its way into passports and bank cards.  In 2015, RFID technology is everywhere, tracking inventories, library materials, pets, medical records, even humans.  Applications for RFID are as wide as the imagination.

Although RFID-enabled credit cards have been embraced worldwide in the past decade, how secure is your personal data?

The answer depends on:

  • Who you ask. (Americans and Europeans have differing views)
  • What kind of credit or debit card you are using. (Traditional card versus a contactless card)

The use of RFID in credit cards has created a stir, especially in the American media, in recent years. RFID is a polarizing subject in America, which, compared to other nations, has a high rate of payment card fraud.  The Nilson Report says, “The U.S. accounted for 47.3% of global card fraud losses but generated only 23.5% of total volume.”  The massive data breaches of 2013 at Target and Neiman Marcus have also increased the fraud rate in America.  Thirdly, although Americans have used RFID technology in bank cards for a decade, the U.S. has continued to use antiquated magnetic-strip cards, which are too easy to duplicate.  In October of 2015, magnetic-strip cards in the U.S. will finally be replaced with RFID technology and an EMV chip card system.

What does RFID mean for you as a traveler?

First, here’s how to know if you have an RFID card.

Now, here’s a scenario.  You’re an American standing in an airplane terminal with your RFID-enabled credit card in your back pocket.  A thief with a radio-frequency scanning device sneaks up behind you. Theoretically, this twerp’s scanner has the energy to skim your card number, expiration date, and other information from your RFID chip.

Whether you travel in your home country or abroad, be aware. You should always be aware, regardless, especially in crowds.

Protect yourself with RFID shields:  You can’t place a price on peace of mind.  Purchase an affordable shield to protect your personal information.  These shields do exactly what they’re designed to do.

Travel Gear That Will Keep You and Your Identity Secure

Keep Valuables Within Your Reach… But Out Of Reach From a Would-Be Thief

RFID Money Belt:  Planning international travel this fall?  Want a comfortable, invisible carrier for your passport, credit cards, driver’s license, money and other items? This RFID-anti-theft blocking money belt (which can double as a wallet) will ease your worries about loss and theft during travel. The belt’s light-weight, soft material feels comfortable worn underneath your clothes.  The top zipper pocket has a mesh compartment—just the right size to hold your passport.  A second mesh pocket will hold your credit cards.  Get security and durability without sacrificing comfort.

Tarriss RFID Money Belt

Tarriss RFID Money Belt | Source: Amazon.com

Credit Card & Passport Holders Case Set With Anti-Theft RFID Blocking Capabilities for Security:

Know someone whose identity recently got hacked? Feel more secure knowing your information is protected. Deceptively lean and lined with metallic coatings, the sleeves are durable. The RFID blocking sleeves meet all standards set by the U.S. General Services Administration for electromagnetically opaque sleeves. Protect your credit cards, passports, and other types of contactless identity cards, which will fit perfectly in these sleeves.

RFID Neck Stash:  Say goodbye to pickpockets and awkward fumbling at the airport; keep your valuables inside of your clothing. Made of soft fabric and sturdy nylon, with three separate compartments and adjustable strap, wear the light and comfy RFID Neck Stash around your neck or across your body.  Organize currencies in two different zippered compartments and keep all your travel documents neat and organized. A clear window pocket in front holds a photo ID.  Protect your keys, credit card, phone, and boarding passes… tissues, throat lozenges, lip balm and more! The RFID neck stash is so light and comfortable, you might forget you’re wearing it–yet it stays securely in place.  If you want security (and like pockets), buy the RFID neck stash.

Tarriss RFID Neck Stash

Tarriss RFID Blocking Neck Stash

Lock Your Luggage:  The TSA received more than 30,000 claims of missing valuables between 2010 and 2014.  Most missing valuables were packed in checked bags and stolen via inside jobs.

But, unless you’re Mary Poppins and own a bottomless magic carpet bag, which can store any number of items regardless of size and shape, to take as a carry-on, you’ll need to check your luggage.

Imagine Mary Poppins as a corrupt baggage handler for the TSA…all that she could stuff into that magic carpet bag…one refrain of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and your valuables would disappear.

Tarriss TSA Locks can help protect the items you pack. TSA approved, security can open the lock if necessary. This two pack of locks is well designed, made of solid zinc alloy, and user-friendly. While other luggage locks make you work to line up the numbers, the Tarriss TSA Lock has markers for easy reading of numbers.  Simply enter your three-digit combination (which you can reset at any time), press the push-button release on top of the lock, and your luggage is unlocked.  No fumbling for keys (or worse, losing keys).  Tarriss TSA Locks, backed by a lifetime warranty, also features a wire cable that’s hardy yet thin enough to thread through your luggage.

Tarriss TSA Luggage Locks

Tarriss TSA Luggage Locks | Source: Amazon.com

Tip:  Take precautions to keep your luggage secure at the airport. Carry on jewelry, laptops, cameras and other valuable personal items.  Be sure your luggage contains absolutely nothing worth stealing or of sentimental value.

Protect Your Computer When You Travel

AT&T Unite Express:  Want a secure mobile hotspot?  Forget public Wi-Fi.  Travel with AT&T Unite Express.  Get safe, fast, 4G LTE signal, hassle-free access on AT&T’s network. Securely connect up to 10 Wi-fi devices.  No annual contract and three flexible rate plans await you.  The AT&T Unite Express is streamlined– just the right size to fit in your pocket.  Easy to use—just turn on and connect.  No need to adjust settings. Get up to 10 hours of battery life on one charge.  Learn more about this new addition to NETGEAR’s line of mobile hotspots.

TRENDnet’s N150 Wireless Travel Router, model TEW-714TRU: Traveling with multiple people who want wireless Wi-Fi?  This router is the go-to. TRENDnet’s downloadable manual is straightforward to get you up and running fast.  Router mode turns a wired internet connection into a wireless network. Repeater and WISP modes capitalized on your existing wireless network. Supports the latest wireless encryption standards.  Stay connected among continents with interchangeable plugs for U. S., Euro, and the UK.  Connect a USB storage drive to share content across the wireless network. Save energy with GREENnet technology (reduces power use by up to 50%).

TrendNet Wireless Router

TRENDnet Wireless N 150 Mbps Travel Router, TEW-714TRU | By TRENDnet | Source: Amazon.com

USB Condoms: For the phone who’s tempted to stray to even one USB port, better safe than sorry.  Using the hotel computer to print?  Tempted to use a free charging USB port at the airport to quickly recharge your phone? Why risk plugging into an unknown port that could be rigged to read your phone data or infect you with malware?  USB condoms prevent data “accidents” by cutting off the data pins in the USB cable, which turn the USB into a charging-only cable.  It only takes one wrong USB port… Learn more at SyncStop.com.

USB condoms

Sync Stop USB Condom Source: http://syncstop.com/

Travel safely!

Written by Katie Anton