Do You Really Need a Credit Card Protector?

It's better to be safe than sorry...


How secure is your credit card? With data theft on the rise, you want to do everything you can to protect yourself. A credit card protector is often marketed as the perfect way to prevent credit card fraud, but do you really need one? First, it’s important to understand how thieves steal credit card data remotely.

Understanding RFID

Watch late night TV and you’re bound to see an ad showing thieves stealing data by using RFID technology to scan and steal credit card information just by standing close to you. First things first, what is RFID? Radio frequency identification uses radio waves to identify objects or people. A device reads the information without any physical contact.

If a credit card uses RFID technology, hackers can use a device to read the data and gain access to credit card numbers and other personal details. They only need to be a few feet away to do so.

Related Read: The Do’s and Don’ts for Sending Safe E-Transfers

RFID Credit Card Data Theft

Despite what you often hear, RFID related credit card theft isn’t as prevalent as you might think. Unless your credit card has a symbol that looks like radio waves on the back, it doesn’t emit RFID signals.

Cards that are used for wireless payments are the most common type with RFID technology. This allows a card reader to wirelessly read your credit card when you wave it over the scanner. Even those types of cards are being made more secure to prevent hackers from stealing information.

Wireless payment cards aren’t that popular. In fact, the Federal Reserve Board stopped keeping track of this payment type in 2012 when only 43 million transactions were made versus the billions made by non-RFID cards.

If you do have an RFID enabled card, it is easy for hackers to steal your information. An RFID credit card protector is your first line of defense.

Chip Card Security Tips

Credit card theft isn’t just limited to RFID scanning. To further prevent theft, many companies are now issuing chip cards. These EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) cards contain a microchip designed to prevent card cloning and are safer than stripe cards. Chips can’t be scanned wirelessly, preventing RFID scanning.

The chip creates an unique number each time it’s used, which helps reduce fraud. Since the adoption of EMV, fraud was reduced by 47% on chip-enabled cards.

To stay even safer with your chip-enabled card, do the following:

  • Never let anyone see your card while you use it
  • Monitor your credit regularly to catch fraudulent charges
  • Check if your credit card issues offers temporary card numbers for online purchases

If you don’t have a chip-enabled card yet, contact your credit card issuer to see if one is available.

Buying a Credit Card Protector

Unless your card uses RFID technology, you don’t need a credit card protector. If it does use RFID, a credit card protector is a good idea.

A few options to consider include:

There’s always a credit card protector wallet to match any style.

Related Read: 4 Must Know Cybersecurity Tips