Wednesday, 28 August 2019

CyberSafe Alert 2019 Edition 7

Has your wallet been hacked?

Welcome to the CyberSafe alert 2019 edition 7, where we provide timely, actionable advice to individuals and SME’s on how to protect themselves online.

This alert covers RFID credit cards and passports, and the lengths we go to, to prevent them from being hacked.

If you’ve got a credit card in 2019, the chances are that it’s RFID enabled. How would you know? Well, if it’s one of those cards that you can simply wave at or place on a card reader instead of swiping it in a slot, then it’s RFID enabled.

As these cards have become increasingly popular you probably started seeing reports in the more hysterical sections of the popular press showing how is it is to intercept your RFID enabled card and steal all your money. People conjured up all sorts of images and scare stories of ne’r do well hackers on street corners with wi-fi interceptors or waiters at restaurants skimming your card details.

As a result of all the scare stories, or course an industry suddenly grew up around protecting consumers from having their cards skimmed. This protection came in the form of RFID blocking, wallets, backpacks, clothes, passport holders, etc., driving tens of millions of sales from worried consumers.

So what’s the advice here? Regular readers of the Cybersafe alert know that our aim is to provide simple, actionable advice on cyber threats. Our advice on RFID blocking accessories is this. Save your money, and buy something that you really want instead. Why should you not be worried? Well, consider the facts:
  • Most RFID cards these days are next-generation cards. These cards protect the information they send by encrypting it
  • In the time since RFID cards were released, there have been no publicly acknowledged real-world examples of RFID crime. In that, however, there have been billions stolen in other financial crimes
  • The payback for Cybercriminals just isn’t worth it. When you consider that a hacker cracking a database such the recent Capital One hack can yield tens of thousands of records, why would someone hang around on a street corner for a day trying to skim credit cards with a reader?
After all that's been said, if you’re still not convinced and you want to protect your wallet anyway, well you can still save yourself some money. Simply put some sheets of aluminium foil in your wallet, and hey presto, you’re protected! So were the reports of RFID skimming all false then? Well not exactly. Plenty of demonstrations by researchers showed how it could be done, but the key point is, it has never happened in a REAL WORLD crime scenario, so relax.

Did you find the Cybersafe alert useful? Yes? Well, don’t keep this useful information to yourself. Use the sharing buttons to share this valuable information with your family and friends so they can protect themselves online.

Following the advice in CyberSafe should go a long way to keeping you safe online. As we like to say at the CyberSafe alert - Don’t Be Scared; Be Prepared.

Are you new to the CyberSafe Alert? If so you’ve missed out on some great information to keep you and your family and business safe online. Here’s what you have missed:
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If you can't wait for the next CyberSafe Alert to tell you how to protect yourself online, get CyberSafe the book. It's packed with the useful information and strategies you need to keep yourself, your family, and your business safe online.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the content provided in this post is accurate and helpful for our readers. However, this is not an exhaustive treatment of the subjects. No liability is assumed for losses or damages due to the information provided. You are responsible for your own choices, actions, and results.

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