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How much will you give up for convenience?
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Editor, Advances in technology have made our daily lives more convenient and supposedly more secure, but at what cost to our privacy?  
Take for instance the technology of radio frequency identification, which lets you simply wave your credit card, passport or license in front of a scanner that sends a signal that is received by antenna embedded in the card. The antenna is connected to the card’s RFID chip, which is activated and voilà — you are done paying.
This technology is also used for keyless access to vehicles, homes, buildings, etc. The problem is this:  It is also now convenient for thieves to steal that information. All they need do is go to eBay and purchase a reader (one sold for $9). Thieves can hold the reader and pass you on the street, allowing them to read what’s in your wallet. Or they can use the reader to access your credit cards as you sit in your car. Hackers can use RFID readers to scan and copy ID cards.
How many times have you passed someone in the mall or on the street carrying a briefcase and thought nothing of it? Readers are widely used by a variety of business such as convenience stores, pharmacies, restaurants, etc. These same readers can be purchased freely by anyone and used with very little knowledge required.  They have even created cell phones with built-in card readers that can steal your information.  
It only takes a few moments to steal your credit card number, expiration date and more. There are special products you can order to block people from being able to read your cards, such as blocking sleeves, wallets and cell phone bags.
Recently, I heard about a customer who discovered a reader on a bank’s ATM machine and reported it to the bank. This practice is called skimming and has only gotten easier for thieves.  
With almost everything that can possibly be stolen because of this new “smart chip,” shouldn’t we be asking ourselves how much we are truly giving up for this “convenience?”

— Ann Goodrich
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