What you need to know about RFID scanners

Learn about the potential danger of RFID scanners and how you can easily protect yourself against these dangers.

What are RFID scanners?

RFID stands for radio-frequency identification. A RFID tag is a microchip that stores information that can be read from a distance by a special device called a reader or interrogator. RFID tags are now found in some passports, driver’s licenses, employee and university identification cards and credit cards.

What is the danger?

While the use of RFID is hard to avoid in the modern world, there are some valid concerns about the safety of your information being kept on a RFID. The RFID tags in some of these cards can be read from up to 10m away. This potentially puts RFID carriers at the risk of identity theft.

Being on the safe side when it comes to protecting your personal information can never hurt. It is a particularly good idea to take steps in protecting yourself if you are travelling overseas, as this is when you are most commonly at risk of RFID scanners.

How can I protect myself from RFID scanners?

Metal effectively blocks radio waves. This makes it difficult to retrofit your existing wallet to protect your cards from RFID scanning.

However, you can buy wallets that are specifically made to block RFID scanning. These range in price but don’t need to be expensive to work effectively. Alternatively, you can buy protective sleeves for your credit cards and passport. These are usually available from luggage and travel gear retailers.

If you want to know more about how RACQ Bank secures your finances read the bank's guide.