I welcome my guest blogger, Lynn Rasmussen, CEO of Social Energizer. Lynn always takes a common sense approach to ‘problems’ posed by new technology. And when she mentioned ‘duct tape’ and ‘aluminum foil,’ I was interested. And you will too….
Introducing: Lynn Rasmussen!
During this busy holiday season I came across this story that may be one of the most intriguing underreported stories of 2010. The reason I feel it’s important to mention is the potential threat it poses to your identity in the coming years. This story from WREG in Memphis, TN. tells how the new RFID (Radio Frequency Indentification) chips embedded in new passports, credit and debit cards are susceptible to identity theft. Armed with a $100 credit card reader and a notebook computer, thieves can simply walk past you in the mall or along the street and swipe your information. Although, police departments are not yet finding actual cases of these crimes, experts feel that they may be underreported and untraceable to where the actual ‘theft’ occurred.
My problem with this story is that a company that sells the special sleeve or wallet presents the ‘expert’ advice. That seems to be the problem voiced by WREG news’ viewers as well. These RFID ‘shields’, starting at about $20 each, seem a bit expensive for what seems to be a pretty simple, unappealing case to keep your credit cards or passport in.
I started looking into it a bit and was happy to find that these can be made at home by one of everyone’s all time favorite materials — duct tape! The other secret ‘key’ ingredient? Aluminum foil! That’s right, why buy an expensive sleeve when you can make one for about a dollar with stuff you have around the house. Here are the instructions on how to make them at home with the patterns. I think with a little ingenuity you may even be able to make a more appealing wallet for what, maybe two dollars? Just for fun, pick out your favorite colored duct tape, make a wallet that a science fiction fanatic would be proud of and keep your personal info where it belongs: safe from identity thieves!