RFID Jackets Offer Protection From Skimmers

September 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm (gadgets, Products, security, Shopping, Travel) (, , , , )

Almost every time we turn on the news or look online these days, there is word of yet another security breach.  Some involve bank account and ID numbers.  Some involve large amounts of money while others involve information about everything from recipes to matters of national security.  

 

One way that data is being stolen on a smaller, yet very effective, level is when people hijack data such as credit card numbers from passersby in crowded public areas such as the subway, food court, or concert venues. This can be done because the information is on a small chip, called an RFID chip.  The chip is then embedded into a card, such as credit or debit cards, work ID and swipe cards, door passkeys, and more.   RFID, or Radio Frequency IDentification, is used to communicate and transmit information over short-distances.  People can use RFID scanners to look for, capture, and read the information on these cards. Those with criminal aspirations can take this information and cause quite a lot of trouble with it. 

 

SEV RFID

There are ways you can protect yourself from having your information captured. Generally, water and metal are the best ways to prevent radio signals from getting to or from your data. There is a rumor that wrapping cards in aluminum foil or lining your wallet with aluminum foil will protect your data.  This will possibly help, but will not prevent the data from being scanned or retrieved.  One of the most effective solutions available to consumers are wallets, pouches, and sleeves using a Faraday Cage inside a leather exterior. Searching for protection tagged “electromagnetically opaque” should point you in the right direction. However, another viable solution is an improved version of one of my long-term favorite products:  the ScotteVest Travel Vest, now with an RFID pocket. 

 

The RFID pocket was created as an extra pocket inside a pickpocket-proof travel document pocket to add an extra layer of security.  It’s made of a special fabric, and it protects credit cards, passports, and other documents with RFID tags from being scanned.  It doesn’t block signals from magnetic card readers or door swipe cards, but it does cover the most common wavelengths that people are generally concerned about. 

 

Their slogan that “you can never have enough pockets” certainly rings true for this long-time fan of ScotteVest products. The new travel vest features 26 total pockets, including the RFID blocking pocket, to protect the user from high-tech skimmers who are trying to steal identities and sensitive information.  The comfortable and roomy vest can easily hold things like a cellphone, flashlight, knife, iPhone, ID, pen, earbuds, iPad or iPad mini, concealed carry weapon, extra ammo, travel sewing kit, travel first aid kit, sunglasses, and lots more.  It has a couple of see-thru pockets so you can actually use your devices without taking them out of their pockets. There are small pockets for flash memory cards, earbuds, pens, and spare change, along with water bottle loops and an extendable key holder.  The weight management system ensures that the vest stays balanced and comfortable without bulging.  The advanced two-way zipper allows access to all the pockets with ease.  The CollarConnect system has also been updated for improved comfort and quicker installation. As they say, there’s more there than meets the eye and even more that doesn’t.   

 

The RFID Travel Vest is available in black, navy, khaki, and olive.  It retails for $135.

 

 They also sell a separate RFID pouch, called the Blackout Pocket, separately for $40.  It holds an iPhone and completely blocks RFID, cellphone, and GPS signals. Once you drop your device into the pouch and close it, you will be “off the grid” in a few seconds and are then untrackable by satellite according to ScotteVest.  This standalone pouch, which is approximately 6.5” x 5” when closed,  is meant to be carried in a vest or jacket pocket, or can attach with hook/loop tabs to some current ScotteVest clothing. 

 

For more information on these and other products, check out their website at ScotteVest.com.  What’s your favorite ScotteVest product?  Do you have a favorite pocket? I love the see thru pockets in my travel jacket, hoodie, and windbreaker. They are so easy to use and I can just swipe right thru the material without having to remove my iPhone. The included chamois in the eyeglasses pocket is also a nice touch.   Is there a pocket you’d like to see that they haven’t implemented yet?  Let me know in the comments. 

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