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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Where do you keep your Passwords? No More Sticky Notes!

June 8, 2014 at 11:31 am (1Password, Apple, Applications, Current Events, iDevices, iPhone/iPod Touch, Productivity, Products, shareware) (, , , , )

I realize I’ve been hyping the fantastic 1Password app quite a bit lately.  There’s a good reason for that.  It’s the best.  If you care anything about your data, you owe it to yourself to protect it.  That means using 1Password. 

 

Friends frequently ask me what 1Password is, what it does, why they need it, and many other questions.  I’d gotten my “elevator spiel” down to about a minute or so, but I was afraid of being inconsistent, or leaving out something important, (especially with all the new features added recently), or just freezing up (it happens sometimes). But, now there is something even better. 


Now there is a real video, complete with snazzy soundtrack, that can be clicked and watched again and again. Keep watching until you realize that you cannot go another minute without the muscle that 1Password provides.   

 

Enjoy this brief video, then head on over to 1Password and pick up a copy today.  


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Lay/N/Go Bag is Great Travel Companion

April 27, 2013 at 6:40 am (Personal, Products, Travel) (, , , , , )

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Ok, folks, for all of you who have cosmetics spread all over the bathroom counter, or you have lots of stuff in several little bags, or you’re on a business trip and you realize your favorite concealer didn’t make the trip with you….there is a new product for you. It’s called the Lay N’ Go Bag and it is beyond awesome!

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not big into makeup anymore, but I do wear it for special events, church, and things like that. I started using Cat Cosmetics makeup developed by actress, entertainer, and entrepreneur, Catherine Hickland, a few years ago. My face and I were unhappy with the expensive high end products I was using and, while looking for an alternative, I came across Cat’s product line. I liked that they were natural, not tested on animals, good for sensitive skin, and worked with all skin types. Best of all, they were affordable, and the customer service was top-notch. She had put together a small kit that contained six products: a concealer, blush, eye shadows, and liner, plus applicators. I tried it and loved it. I got a couple other products and was hooked. There was no going back.

Fast forward a few years. I had been looking for a bag in which to keep cosmetics while traveling. A couple of trips last month showed us that we were woefully underprepared. I happened to see Cat post about a new bag she found, and it looked interesting. It didn’t do anything for the part of me that wanted some organizational aid, but there was something liberating about just dumping everything in a pile on the counter then scooping it all up together. We decided to take the plunge and order our own Lay N’ Go Bag.

It arrived today, and (I’m slightly embarrassed to say) I had to watch the short video to figure out how to close it. LOL. I kept trying to “open” it…It was so easy that I was making it difficult. I must admit, I felt pretty dumb once I saw how simple it was 😉 You just lay the bag flat, put all your stuff on it, then pull the drawstring. It scoops everything up like a bowl, then you slide the cord lock down and it’s secure.

It is just amazing! It truly holds a ton of stuff, plus it has a large inner zipper pocket and a small outer velcro pocket. It’s also water repellant and washable, thanks to the nylon and poly fabric. Another little bonus is that it comes inside its own little drawstring bag, so you actually get a cute little bonus bag. This may be one of the coolest things I’ve ever bought…it is just so practical.

You don’t even have to use it just for cosmetics. Obviously, it’s great for that, but I’ve already been thinking about other uses for this bag. It would work equally well for guys and gals, and would be just as good for a business trip as a weekend getaway. An artist could toss a handful of paint tubes in a bag and head out to a specific location. Toss a handful of toys on it and scoop them up for a quick and easy rescue pack for kids (or the babysitter, ha). It is available in black for $29.95, or silver or gold for $34.95.

Above is a snapshot of the bag with most of my Cat Cosmetics inside…I was skeptical, but you can see how much it holds. Fantastic! Order yours from Cat Cosmetics, and let me know what you think. Cheers!

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