I am quite sure that you have heard more than your fair share of horror stories concerning credit card fraud, and are learned enough to take good care of your credit card – especially when you make a purchase. It is always a good habit to keep track of all your transactions performed so that you can be on the case of a fraudulent purchase the moment you see it. Other than being more vigilant in using what some of us deem to be a necessity, what other methods are there to reduce the rate of credit card fraud? Well, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering might have stumbled on the next big thing – that is, to protect contactless credit cards from virtual pickpocketing through the clever implementation of toggling such cards ‘on’ and ‘off.’

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These new contactless credit cards will be able to be turned off, so that criminals who use portable readers to read sensitive information will be foiled in their attempts. According to Marlin Mickle, Professor of Engineering and executive director of the RFID Center for Excellence, “Our new design integrates an antenna and other electrical circuitry that can be interrupted by a simple switch, like turning off the lights in the home or office. The RFID or NFC credit card is disabled if left in a pocket or lying on a surface and unreadable by thieves using portable scanners. This solution is simple and very inexpensive to integrate into the RFID and NFC credit card manufacturing process.”

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