Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anti Skim Laws Passed in CA

California follows Washington in adopting "anti-skimming" laws this month. The new measure prohibits the unauthorized scanning of RFID data from ID cards or RFID devices. This is a step in the right direction, but it is a small one. Just because it's now illegal, skimming is not going to stop, unless the consumer does something to stop it from happening at the card level.
(image: www.wired.com)
The best way to protect the information on RFID cards and devices is to fix the issue at the root. This can be handled on several ways. One method is to only use cards that take advantage of mutual authentication between the card and reader, like an HID iCLASS card uses. This is a viable option since the reader and card only communicate if the reader is an appropriate HID iCLASS reader.

The other much more acceptable fix-all method is to use a blocking device like a SkimSAFE to protect the RFID card's data from any and all reading, unless the cardholder wants it to be read. These are available in plastic card holder styles as well as small paper-thin envelopes that you simply slide the card into when you're not using it. These SkimSAFE holders do more than protect the card physically, because they don't allow any hacker or skimmer to "see" your information, no matter what kind of RFID is onboard the card.

Want to protect any RFID card today? Read more on SkimSAFE cardholders here.

Want to switch to a better class of RFID card? Read more on HID iCLASS cards here.

No matter what you do, if you use RFID in your daily life, please take steps to protect yourself and your data. The law is a step in the right direction, but it's not a solution.

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