Travelers have a right to be concerned about identity theft. These days, just about everything (your credit cards, some enhanced driver’s licenses, even your passport book) are equipped with information-packed microchips that emit radio waves.
Modern pickpockets no longer have to even reach their hands into your bag—they can simply pass by with a handheld RFID reader, which wirelessly collects the information transmitted by the embedded radio frequency identification chip.
From several feet away, these tech-savvy crooks can skim everything from your legal name and country of origin to your credit card number.
Several companies are now producing RFID-blocking wallets and passport holders (and bags, fanny packs, purses, and more) to prevent those radio waves from falling into the wrong hands.
Related: What is a Passport Card?
Baggallini, for example, is an accessories line created by former flight attendants. Two of their products will assuage any worries you have about RFID-style theft. A radio wave-blocking nylon wallet and wristlet are easy (and chic) ways to ensure your information stays secure inside your cards and travel documents.
Chances are, any high-tech theft like this would mean little more than a thief knowing your full name, and maybe where you’re from. But if you’re a better-safe-than-sorry traveler, consider upgrading to an RFID-blocking wallet and passport cover.
Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.