Two Travel Security Tips

by | Jul 25, 2014 | Archives

Here are two tips for travel security and convenience.

wallet & tools

Learn about this handy dandy travel tool and a security wallet to go with it.

Recently my sister, Sandra. and mom visited us in Florida.  While visiting, my sister warned me about credit cards with RFID chips.  Wireless identity theft called “skimming” is a new form of robbery that has grown as increased numbers of credit debit and ID use RFID chips.  RFID stands for radio-frequency identification.  These chips allow ID data to be transmitted via wireless, non-contact receivers that use electromagnetic fields to transfer data.

This applies to some credit, and debit cards as well as passports and other government issued identification cards.  In other words, these cards have a chip that transmits the information.

The idea of RFID seems like a great one.  The card can transmit, like a wireless computer, encoded personal data, such as a name, address, Social Security Number, phone number, etc.   This makes it eases to transfer data by scanning a card through a reader.

The problem, that creates the new form of theft, are the unofficial readers.   Thieves with readers can grab data from your credit or debit card or passport simply by being near you.

My sister warned me, but I did not pay enough attention.  When it was time for mom and Sandra to leave, Merri and I took them on the hour drive to Orlando Airport.  We dropped them off at the check-in, made sure they were on their way and drove home.

An hour later we were home and the phone was ringing.  American Express security was calling. “Have you spent $100 at two Racetrac gas stations in the last hour?” they asked?   “No!”, we said.

The thieves had picked up our number and started spending within an hour.  How did they accomplish this?  Just by moving around us while we were standing on the curb at the airport saying goodbye…we could not have been there more than 5 minutes!

Amex cancelled the card and sent a new one by overnight delivery.  This was not a big problem except we pay many bills automatically with that credit card.   This forced us through the hassle of changing all those reoccurring charges.

I immediately ordered an Access Denied wallet (1) from Amazon.com for under $50.  This is an RFID blocking wallet that stops this electronic pick-pocketing.

wallet & tools

Wallet

The Access Denied company has designed a shield protection system that safeguards against RFID theft.  When you store your ID, credit cards, security clearance badges, etc. in this wallet (or their other products) the special lining acts like a Faraday cage and  keeps electronic transmissions from penetrating the wallet.

This is a nice looking wallet of soft and flexible leather.  It looks like a regular wallet but has something else in it.  The first time I went through a TSA metal detector at the airport, the wallet set off the alarm.

I am told that putting a piece of aluminum foil in your wallet will accomplish the same protection.

At about the same time a friend gave me a really handy little tool that fits in my wallet and is TSA approved so I can carry it anywhere.

The tool called a Wallet Ninja (2) comes in an attractive package.

wallet & tools

This tool is the size of a credit card, made from steel and has 18 tools, including a letter opener, box opener, phone stand, 4 screw drivers, 4 openers,  2 rulers, and fruit peeler.  The Ninja fits perfectly into the security wallet and since it is TSA approved, I don’t have to worry about taking it on my travels.

This is darn convenient.  On a recent trip a screw in my glasses came loose.  One of the screw drivers worked perfectly.

Merri and I hope to see you at one of our seminars or courses.  If we do, chances are you’ll do some some air travel.  These two tips will make that travel more convenient and secure.

Gary

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(1) Access denied

(2) Ninja Wallet