Luggage Full of Electronics | Teplis Travel

New luggage blocks ID theft on the road

Nowadays, hackers don’t even have to see your credit card to access the information on it. They can scan it from a safe distance. One of the latest threats against travelers is invisible and silent: wireless attacks that siphon your credit card number, personal information and passwords. Anything with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip, including your passport or a credit card, can be read from afar. Thieves can also mine valuable data from your smartphone when it automatically logs on to a WiFi network. One-third of phone users store their passwords to online accounts, including bank and social networks, on their devices.¬†Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to thwart these wireless assaults, including new luggage products and common-sense steps that protect your devices and credit cards.

This month, luggage manufacturer Briggs-and-Riley, based in Hauppage, N.Y., will add RFID-blocking pockets to its new at-work briefcase and bag collection. The models offer two pockets with electromagnetic shielding, one for IDs and passports, the other for a smartphone or a tablet computer. The black ballistic nylon cases, priced from $129 to $479, are designed to appeal to privacy-conscious business travelers.

Escape the Wolf, a travel security company based in Virginia Beach, Va., is also introducing a product this month, aimed at leisure travelers and called the Zero Trace Two-Day Backpack. It offers a large interior compartment to store any electronics you want to protect from prying eyes or scans. The $199 backpack, which will be part of Escape the Wolf’s line of security-enhancing luggage, is minimalist on the outside but sophisticated on the inside for a reason, says Clinton Emerson, the company’s chief executive. “Fancy gets you mugged,” he says. “Fancy gets stolen.” (Chicago Tribune)