As if you didn’t already have enough to worry about, you can be victimized by identity theft without losing anything, and without getting hacked. Most cards and passports have radio frequency chips, which sometimes carry unencrypted information about the owner – name, address, and, sometimes Social Security number. Those who know how (potentially everyone, thanks to websites that teach you) can use radio frequencies to elicit responses from these chips, which contain sensitive information. If you have an older card with a magnetic stripe, you might be OK, but it seems like banks are moving towards RFID chips in most debit and credit cards, so this figures to continue to be an issue. All it would take is a helping of bad luck to get your information snatched while you’re in public.
ID Lock, from Tumi, claims to counter this threat. ID Lock isn’t a standalone product, but a feature that will be available in Tumi’s new TICON collection of handbags, messenger bags, and backpacks. Those interested will be able to add a little red pocket to the inside of their new bag. That new pocket features metal threads interwoven with the linen material that makes up the pocket. According to Tumi, those metal threads will prevent RFID signals from reaching your RFID-enabled cards or passports.
ID Lock will also be available in wallets and card cases. You can expect the TICON collection to go on sale on Tumi’s website sometime this month.