Why you need a steel wallet. (No, really!)

RFID readers mean pickpockets can steal your data without even touching your wallet. The steel wallet is real!

Pickpockets and thieves around the world are very good at separating you from your money, credit cards and other valuables while you're traveling. They can use diversionary tactics or even razor blades to get at the contents of your wallet.

[ See also: What kind of digital nomad are you? ]

Unfortunately, the growing use of contactless, "touch and go" payment and other systems -- which can include credit cards, smartcards, key fobs and others -- make their job that much easier. A malicious identity thief could create a mobile RFID reader that "harvests" personal data from the wallets of passers-by, or, say, passengers on a bus. An online catalog called Herrington offers a product that just might be a glimpse into the future: A steel wallet. The $79.95 Identity Theft Preventing Privacy Wallet is "woven from over 20,000 super-fine strands of stainless steel into a flexible fabric that feels like silk," according to the catalog web site. It's "stronger than leather." The purpose of the steel mesh is to block RFID readers, and prevent them from nabbing the data from your contactless cards. In the future, when everything is contactless and we all carry RFID-enabled everything, will we all need steel wallets? (Thanks to Red Ferret)


ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon