Contactless credit cards have become more widely used in the recent years, thanks to its tap-and-go convenience.
But this is not without its dangers as security flaws were recently exposed.
Just think about it: you don’t need to insert the card anywhere and you can pay for something. Now, won’t this allow thieves to easily steal money from these cards by simply touching their victims’ pockets and bags with a payment device?
Like this device.
How does your data gets stolen?
Your contactless credit card contains a tiny antenna that can link with a payment terminal. Through NFC (near field communication) technology, as long as your card and the payment terminal comes into close contact, a payment can be taken.
Additionally, nearby scanners can also intercept NFC signals to obtain information such as your credit card number and expiry date. If you’re thinking that online purchases can’t be made without your name and the all-important CVV security number, think again.
In a recent experiment by UK consumer group, Which?, researchers managed to go on an online shopping spree for several items–including a £3,000 (S$5,902) television.
To quote a famous line modified for this context: “With great convenience comes great risks”.
So is it safe to use contactless cards? Well, since it’s here to stay (until mobile phone payment is more widely used), how do you avoid being a victim of payment card theft?
The solution is extremely simple. All you have to do is either wrap your contactless cards or line your wallet with aluminium foil.
Yes, that’s it!
There are also metal cases (available on Amazon) made specifically to protect your cards. However, experts say that it is not necessary to go to that extent. If you have more than one contactless card in your wallet, it is also advisable for you to take out the card to tap on the terminal.
This reduces the chances of you making charges to the rest of the contactless credit cards in your wallet.
Either that, or make sure no one knows where your wallet is. After all, they’ll only have less than one second to make contact – if they try more than one second, they won’t be seen as a thief but as a molester instead.
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