As an emergency planning professional by day, you’d think I’d know more about RFiD and how it can be used to steal people’s details and/or identity. Unfortunately, up until a couple of weeks ago, I’ll be honest, I had never even heard of it. Liveventure sent us a couple of items which are designed to keep our travel documents, credit cards and mobile phones safe from unsavoury characters who may want to nab our information without us even knowing, whilst travelling,
Having travelled a lot of places over a lot of years, Mr ESLT and I would like to think that we have our personal security, as far as possible, down pat – we are aware of our environment, we keep our possessions close to use, we never flash the cash and we never keep our mobile phones in our back pockets. We are very lucky (touch wood!) that we have never been mugged, robbed or even pick pocketed when travelling. However, now it appears that even if you are the most careful person in the world when it comes to keeping your things safe, you could still be a victim of theft.
So what is RFiD? Well, RFiD stands for Radio-Frequency Identification. RFiD technology, originally used to tag cattle, is now used on a daily basis in more things than you probably even realise. The idea is that in the future RFiD codes will be used a lot more than they are now which ‘should’ make your like easier, with less need to stand in queues. For example, being able to simply walk out of the supermarket without having to have each individual item scanned. instead everything will be scanned at the same time and your card charged for your stuff – sounds good, right? Although as with most technology there are always some unscrupulous people out there who want to exploit the system. Thieves can use scanners to intercept the radio frequencies emitted by each chip which allows them to access your personal data.
Therefore, it’s important that we make it as hard as possible for those sort of people to get our information. All your credit and debit cards have RFiD technology built into them if you have a chip and pin card and if your passport has a small camera-looking icon on the front of it, the one that symbolises that you can use the e-passport gates, then that too has the tech in it – who knew? We would never leave our passport and purse lying around for anyone to pick up and walk off with yet we’ve left them vulnerable to RFiD theft by not protecting them before now.
It’s a scary thought and again I feel lucky that we have never been targeted. For just a few quid you can lower that risk significantly by investing in RFiD blocking wallets which are made from RFiD blocking material. The unique fabric acts as a barrier against RFiD signals, dramatically reducing the risk of electronic identity theft. There is the school of thought around that electronic identify theft isn’t as rife as some people make it out to be but I certainly don’t want to be the person to test that theory. By investing pounds, it could save me and you thousands!
This is a handy sized wallet which has 9 card slots, 1 with ID window, phone pocket, passport pocket, ticket pockets, zipped compartment and pen loop. Therefore we can place all our travel documents in it and zip it up. The main shell is RFiD protected, however it also has an external slot, which is nor RFiD protected, where we can place our boarding passes, making them easy to access without having to open the main compartment. At the moment the wallet is only available in a charcoal grey colour, it would be great if a range of colours could be introduced – pink for me please!
My iPhone 6S fits easily into this phone wallet with plenty of room to spare and even though I won’t let Mr ESLT borrow it, I’m sure his iPhone 7 would fit no problems too. My phone is with me 24/7 (need to work on a digital detox!) and since I have received it, I use the wallet all the time to keep it in. It also has a few slots inside it where I can keep my credit/debit cards too, it is also waterproof and has a belt loop if that’s your thing. Again, the shell is RFiD protected but as with the travel wallet it is only available in charcoal grey.
- Products provided by Lifeventure for review purposes.