identity theftFrancis Smith was recently on a cruise in Miami when sometime between disembarking from the cruise ship to returning home in Indiana, someone purchased cigars and other items in Miami with her credit card number.

Nowadays, hackers can scan your credit card from a distance; they don’t even have to see your credit card in order to access your information. Francis believes that the criminal must have scanned her Visa account information while she was filling up her gas tank in South Florida.

Wireless attacks that siphon your credit card number, personal information and passwords have become the latest threat against travelers. Thieves can scan anything with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip imbedded in it, such as your credit card or passport. If you use a smartphone, you should be aware that it’s also possible for thieves to steal valuable data from it when you’ve logged onto a Wi-Fi network.

However, there are a few simple ways you can avoid these types of wireless assaults, such as buying new, shielded luggage products and by using common-sense steps to protect your credit cards and computer devices.

The luggage industry is now offering an entire new luggage collection with protective linings that shield all of your wireless devices and identification with RFID chips. Luggage manufacturer Briggs & Riley, based in Hauppage, New York, is adding RFID blocking pockets to its new bag and briefcase collections.

The new luggage comes with two pockets with electromagnetic shielding, one for your smartphone and tablet, and another one for ID’s and passports. They’re designed to appeal to privacy-conscious business travelers, with black ballistic nylon cases being priced from $129 to $479. Briggs & Riley’s Chief Executive, Richard Krulik, says that his company is always adapting to the demands and concerns of travelers, which he refers to as “reality-engineering.” He also stated that travelers need this new RFID blocking protection for their personal data and information, because they’re constantly relying on their luggage to keep their belongings safe.

Francis Smith was extremely lucky, because as it turned out her card didn’t have an RFID chip. Francis’ bank detected the fraud because of the suspicious purchases, and disabled her account, refunding her for all the fraudulent purchases. This is a great example of one of the best possible solutions, which is to have a bank account that will stop any fraud quickly and cover all loses. Francis also decided to use a prepaid debit card that doesn’t contain any personal information when she travels.

Not everyone has been as fortunate as Francis; nearly half of all travelers access the Internet on their smartphones while traveling, according to a survey done by security firm Kaspersky Lab. The most vulnerable wireless devices are running on Android OS, however, any phone can easily be a target; one third of cellphone users store passwords to their bank accounts, social networks and online accounts on their smartphone, tablet or laptop, making them vulnerable to identity theft.

Do you have questions about your technology security? We can help ensure your business is secured from many of the threats including educating your staff on what to watch out for. Especially identity theft.

I have a strong passion for helping Ottawa Businesses, Entrepreneurs and professionals to become more productive and successful while allowing them to feel at ease and secure when it comes to their Information Technology needs. As the President of Fuelled Networks since 1998, I specialize in providing no-nonsense flawless and prompt technical support to Ottawa businesses, with in-depth consulting on Fortinet, Microsoft, Microsoft Cloud Stack and security. I strive to help businesses to succeed and take great pride in building long-lasting positive relationships and taking on a strong leadership role within the Ottawa community.

Published On: 15th May 2013 by Ernie Sherman.