Suggestions for passport chip shielding?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by violist, Jan 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    I recently got a new chip-enhanced passport and was wondering
    what travelers consider to be wise precautions against data
    theft and so on. Aluminum foil? If so on passport or as a hat
    (no just kidding about this last, but serious about the rest).
     
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  2. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    You can buy RFID blocking passport holders at many travel stores. They look basically like a wallet, but sized for your passport. I always wonder if its worth it, but better safe than sorry I suppose.
     
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  3. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    RFID chips are somewhat fragile and can be "accidentally" broken...at least that is what happened to all my credit cards. Not sure if you want risk tampering with it, but there are lots of resources on the internet on how to do it.
     
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  4. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    Hammer Time! :D

    And no, my passport has not come under any scrutiny at various places. ;)
     
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  5. Efilon87

    Efilon87 Silver Member

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    You could always "demagnetize" the thing by putting a refrigerator magnet on it. Don't know if the RFID chips are magnetized, if not, I like the hammer idea.
     
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  6. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Magnet will not effect RFID chip
     
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  7. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    You can put it in microwave for a few seconds and will for sure kill it :D
     
  8. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Have not seen one yet. Might need to look it up. You guys made me worried and now I am thinking about getting RFID blocking passport holder :confused:
     
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  9. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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  10. N965VJ
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    True.

    Careful, that can leave tell-tale burn marks. ;)
     
  11. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    You might be ok with only few seconds, more can for sure cause more damage then you want. Do it at your own risk :D TAHKUCT is not responsible for any damage to your passport during this experiment.
     
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  12. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Watch this first!

    Then put a rubber band around your passport to keep it closed. I align with the group that believes the RFID can't be read when the passport is completely closed. YMMV.
     
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  13. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Here goes my suggestion :(
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    it being what... the passport? ;)
     
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  15. TAHKUCT
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    Based on the lili post unfortunately it will be the passport :D
     
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  16. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I have the RFID Blocking Passport Holder. The only problem that I have had with it is going thru a magnetometer at the airport, it will set off the alarms. That is because of a metal mesh inside of the holder which actually does block the RFID Chip. When explained to the Security Theater, they usually take the passport out, hand it to me and then send the case thru the X-ray.
     
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  17. TAHKUCT
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    What kind do you have?
     
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  18. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    They all are essentially the same. The one I use was sent to me by a company that I can't remember, hoping I would put it in my store. I have put them in my store but from a different manufacturer. Travelon makes one, Lewis N. Clark makes one. Most travel goods companies do make them . Google is your friend. Most start about $12-15US and can go up to about $50US. And they are now making them for Ipads and Laptops to protect proprietary memory on those devices. (RFID is very similar to onboard WiFi connections in that data can be accessed even if the unit is off!)
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Maybe I am misinterpreting this sentence, but there is no way that any scanner can get data off the laptop via WiFi when then laptop is turned off.
     
  20. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    The "experts" that manufacture these sleeves are suggesting that that may very well be the case, since the CPU does have a small battery that keeps the memory "alive" when the unit is off. However, that is what they are telling me. Probably to try and sell more product. I would imagine that the thieves would try to accomplish this. I would also be cautious if "Security" has you turn on the Ipad or Laptop to prove it works. It only takes milliseconds to snatch the data on a RFID, and if you have an auto-wifi engaged and turn on your laptop. . ..
     
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I suspect those same manufacturers also offer tin foil hats.

    Seriously, when your computer is turned off or hibernated, there is no battery used to keep memory alive. If it's in Sleep mode, yes, memory is powered, but the WiFi radio isn't. And If the laptop is turned on to verify it's working, yes, wifi may be on, but even if someone managed to connect to your laptop (by it being set to auto-connect to a known SSID), they'd still not be able to download all your data in milliseconds (or for that matter, anything).

    Do those who worry about this EVER take their laptops out of the sleeve? ;)
     
  22. N965VJ
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    :eek::D
     
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  23. TAHKUCT
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    :)
     
  24. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. For now it looks as though I'll
    do nothing.
     
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