In a year, there are about 9 million Americans who are victims of identity thieves. And this number only includes the ones that have been reported. If you ask any of these people, you'll get the same answer - it's definitely a terrible experience to be charged for someone else's credit card purchases or to be responsible for paying someone else's debts. This is where Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) cards come into play.

About RFID credit cards

RFID card is designed in such a way that they are intended to provide additional security and protection to credit card account holders. These cards have a built-in chip responsible for transmitting the information on the card via radio waves. They still have the magnetic stripe located on the back so users can still swipe it when in a location that doesn't have a scanner.

These high-tech credit cards are offered by major credit card institutions such as American Express (Amex), MasterCard, and Visa. If you see an icon like the three vertical curved lines that often indicate radio waves or a word you don't recognize, you probably have a built-in card.

Benefits of using RFID cards

If you have a credit card that has a built-in chip, as long as the seller or store uses a compatible card reader, you no longer have to swipe it every time you make a transaction. All you have to do is hold the card 1 to 4 inches from the scanner. Your information is on file and on its way.

The main benefit lies in the acceleration of the payment process. It reduces the total time you would have to spend making a transaction. It is as fast as when an employee scans a UPC on an item they are purchasing. With this technology, the need for vendors, cashiers, retailers and waiters to view and manipulate the card is greatly reduced.

These cards eliminate some security risks that have long been associated with their traditional counterparts. The main one is the ability to copy the numbers from a second copy of the transaction. Consider buying gasoline. You can get a receipt if you want, but your information is stored out of sight. It can only be retrieved by the person who keeps the daily accounting and processes the day's transactions. There is no paper to store in a drawer at the checkout counter.

Possible dangers posed by these cards

Since RFID credit cards allow users to make transactions without having to physically manipulate the card, many people worry that it will be easier for unscrupulous people to steal information. Many think that criminals can access and obtain the card information simply by placing an RFID scanner nearby. This is very possible. Small, portable scanners are easily purchased and are capable of reading a card from several feet away and directly through a wallet, pocket, or purse.

Some card issuers say that the cards are safe from theft, as the information is encrypted. However, not all issuers offer encrypted cards, and we know that tech-savvy thieves will not be stopped for long with encryption. That's just solving a simple puzzle for them.

Greater protection for your RFID cards

Fortunately, the potential dangers discussed above can be prevented through the use of a specialized card case. If you keep your cards in an aluminum box, identity thieves won't be able to scan the cards on it unless you remove them from the box. Radiofrequency waves will not transmit through aluminum.

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