Much has been written about the security of Smart Cards like the ones that you use when making a Tap and Go payment. Such as data being stolen by the use of high powered Radio Frequency Identification ( RFID ) readers. Much of this kind of misinformation on the internet is False. As stated by the SmartCardAlliance.org a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology. Listed below are some of the built-in ways that these cards protect privacy!
Radio Frequency Identification ( RFID )
The RFID that is used in Industry, is different. Where in industry, RFID can and is used to track parcels, creates and in supermarkets etc, these use long range RFID usually around 25 feet. Whilst Smart Cards use Radio Frequency Technology, but by design it works at a short range, around 4 inches. So it is highly unlikely that a person driving along a busy motor way with a high powered reader is going to be able to pick up data residing on cards belonging to users at bus stops.
However that is not to say data theft does not happen it does but making any sense of the data is very difficult because of the industry standard encryption that is used by the manufacture.
Basically, encryption is used to make the data unreadable. So in the event of data theft. The Data is still secured.
These cards use authentication to make sure that those whom want access to the cards data have the appropriate rights. It authenticates uses, devices and applications.
Strong Device Security
These cards use a number of different hardware and software capabilities to detect and react to tampering attempts.
It is important to remember, that with all the safeguards in place, data theft and more importantly the use of that data does happen. But the take away message from this post is that we stay vigilant but not obsess about credit card security. By the simple use of RFID blockers like the ones we give away when an online purchase is made you will have taken the first step to peace of mind.
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