Kitchen FoilWe can smirk about the people convinced aliens are invading who wear tin foil hats and cover all their windows with foil, but I’m here to tell you that there are some instances when aluminum foil might be a really good friend.

Now, this is not a silly or trivial matter. No, it’s serious and it has to do with your money – and your ability to keep it in your pocket. And here at International Investigators, we believe that a pound of prevention is better than a gallon of cure.

In recent years RFID (Radio Frequency ID) cards have been marketed to consumers as a tap and go solution to paying at restaurants and retailers. But of course, if there is a new “quick card” product for consumers, there is a way for bad guys to pilfer your assets connected with it. These RFID cards are a prime example.

How your RFID is snatched up
Thieves use electronic pickpocketing devices to steal card information. The device is attached to a laptop and does not have to be in physical contact with the card to spirit away the card information and therefore, the cash in your account. Thieves carry the laptop discreetly in a case with the device attached. It’s only a matter of a few inches, and your personal information – and account – have been compromised.

How to protect yourself from RFID card thieves
First of all, understand that bad guys are all around and if you own and use an RFID card, be aware of anyone who walks too closely to you at gas pumps or registers. That’s awareness, but it doesn’t really protect you. In fact, it probably makes you more worried and suspicious.

Because the cellphone experts at International Investigators deal with mobile phone spyware detection and cell phone spying, we know a thing or three about cellphone hack detection and cell phone monitoring. We are also computer forensic investigators dealing with spyware detectors, computer forensics analysis and all manner of digital forensics. When we are asked to do a cell phone investigation because it is suspected that malware is installed on it, turning it into a cell phone spy, our first suggestion is to immediately wrap the phone in several layers of aluminum foil. That prevents the bad guy from receiving the information they are trying to obtain through the phone. The signals are stopped.

So, to protect yourself and that RFID card, wrap it in aluminum foil. Foil is effective in preventing the electronic pickpocketing devices from picking up the radio frequency and your information. Of course, you can invest in a pricey RFID-specific protection case, but it’s quicker, easier and cheaper to stop by the pantry on your way out the door.

An even better suggestion might be to get rid of the RFID card. Many suppliers are already phasing out the service. That should be an indication you are better off moving to another service – and type of card – before you need the services of a company like International Investigators.

-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators

-B. McGinley, Director of Operations, International Investigators