Protect Your Cards and Passports with Digital Condoms

With contactless payment technology on the increase, and with the payment limits having been increased as well from £20 to £30 last October, so too are criminal acts with respect to card fraud. That is why it is so important you do everything you can to protect your cards and passports too.

On our recent trip to Bluestone with friends, one of whom works in IT like BattleDad, we were told by W of a new card fraud currently quite prevalent in London (and across Europe).

Criminal gangs are going around busy places such as the Underground and tourist attractions with contactless payment machines and are using them to steal up to £30 from the unsuspecting general public. The Underground is a prime spot for them as it is extremely busy, especially during rush hour and at weekends, and with these contactless payment machines, they no longer have to pickpocket you to steal money from you. All they have to do is hold the machine up to your back pocket, gents, and hence your contactless payment card, and hey presto, £30 gone just like that. And ladies we aren’t off the hook either. With a range, according to the banks, of 5cm they could just as easily get £30 from our bags without ever having to put their hands in there.

One of the first reports of contactless theft was made in October 2015 and Which? even did a study whereby they were able to read personal details from contactless cards using cheap card scanners. They proved these card scanners can be used to not only steal up to £30 from cards, but with personal information as well they could make large online purchases with stolen data as reported by the Guardian in June 2015.

A study which was published in The Journal of Engineering, and reported by the BBC, found that by creating an antenna or signal booster, using accessible shop-bought electronics, the range could be extended to a shocking 45cm. That’s scary. And there is no doubt organised crime gangs have techies on the payroll who could build these signal boosters to be concealed in back packs, meaning on a busy tube station platform, such as Piccadilly Circus, they could walk up and down the platforms collecting £30 from everyone within range for as long as the tube is running, and no one would be none the wiser until they checked their accounts. And let’s face it, how many of us check the transactions in our bank accounts on a regular basis?

With this in mind, W showed us a cheap card protector which is a cardboard sleeve with a very thin layer of foil inside. You pop your contactless card inside it and this protects it from any near field communication signals. A layer of aluminium foil around your cards will do the same but I am certainly not going to carry my cards wrapped in foil.

Another way of protecting your money is to have 2 contactless cards in your wallet. A contactless payment machine will see both but as it cannot determine which card to take the payment from, it will (or should) decline the transaction. However this won’t work for me as I only have one contactless card in my wallet.

Carrying an Oyster card with your contactless debit or credit card may also help but that may only work if you a) have an Oyster card and b) remember to always carry it with your debit or credit card. Knowing me I’d forget to keep them together.

So I’ve decided to invest in the card sleeves that W showed us. They are cheap at £6.99* for 10 card sleeves and 2 passport sleeves from Amazon. Yes passport information can be stolen too with everyone moving to bio metric passports.IMG_0521

The card pocket has been designed to not only protect your cards but to also slip easily inside your wallet or purse too. They come with a lifetime warranty and money back guarantee but with 10 card sleeves in the packet you won’t need to reorder for a very long time, or at all even, if they did get worn or broken. Let’s face it, who has 10 contactless payment cards?

I am happier now knowing I am doing all I can to protect my cards when I’m out and about, particularly if and when I am in London such as for #BML16.

Another hint and tip W gave me in the ‘protect your money’ discussion we were having was to turn off the NFC and payment option on my phone as it too can act as a contactless payment source for Android payments. This ensures my phone cannot be used as a source of money for criminals and protects my money even further. You can find it by going to Settings ➡️ NFC and payment, and turning it off as demonstrated below. As far as I am aware Apple has something similar but I don’t have an iPhone or iPad so you’ll need to check this out if you are an Apple user.protect your cards and passports

Are you doing all you can to protect your hard-earned cash?

Cath x

I’ve got 3 sets of the Tenn Well cards and passport protectors to giveaway to 3 lucky readers. Simply follow the instructions on the link below and good luck!

Tenn Well Card Protector Sleeves

Terms & Conditions:

  • Open to all my European readers and followers.
  • Competition ends on Wednesday 21st September at 23.59BST.
  • Three winners will each receive a set of the Tenn Well RFID Blocking Sleeves (10 cards and 2 passport sleeves).
  • Winners will be picked at random and notified within 5 days of the end of the competition.

*at the time of writing.

Baby and Child First Aid Course with NCT

Very recently I finally managed to do something that I’ve been trying to do since BattleKid was only a few months old. I did an NCT Baby and Child First Aid course. I had first signed up to do one back in 2014 but unfortunately due to BattleDad being in the States for work I was unable to attend. The lady who took my initial booking tried a few times to offer me another place on other courses but they were mid-week courses and with BattleDad working away during the week I couldn’t attend them.

But in June I saw a Facebook update for the Abergavenny NCT group in which they were advertising a Baby and Child First Aid course and I jumped at the chance to attend. I even went so far as to book it before discussing it with BattleDad. I knew he wouldn’t mind as he knew it was something that I’ve been trying to do for a while. And besides, it was in our best interests for at least one of us to attend.

baby and child first aid

The great advantage to this course was it was only two and a half hours long, and was in Abergavenny, 15 minutes from our house, so very convenient. Other advertised courses I’d tried to get on were in Cardiff, so this was perfect. I chose the morning session so that I’d be back home just after lunch.

On the Saturday of the course we made our way to Abergavenny and had breakfast together, after which BattleDad took BattleKid dragon hunting while I made my way to the venue.

Tea, coffee, juice and biscuits were ready for the attendees, and after getting a drink I made my way to the front. Ever the student! Our course instructor was Simon, from Bristol. He was an ex paramedic who had unfortunately had to give up his role as a responding paramedic due to an accident. He now acts as a mentor to new paramedics and those in training, as well as doing First Aid Courses for the public through the British Red Cross, who was running this on behalf of the NCT. So he still passes on his skills and knowledge to colleagues and the public alike.

We began by introducing ourselves, of which there were about 16, each of us giving our reasons why we were attending. There were parents, grandparents and also expecting parents attending that Saturday, all with one thing in mind. To become better equipped to deal with any sort of emergency that might happen to our children (and grandchildren).

The one situation that seemed most common among the attendees in wanting to know what to do was a case of choking. We were brought through what to do for both babies and children. There were some comments that we might bruise a child applying back blows at the strength Simon was demonstrating but he said that a bruised child was better than a dead child. And he is right. He did suggest that should we ever need to give help to a child that is choking that isn’t ours we should advise the parents that they might be bruised on their and child first aid

After practicing on the dummies supplied, we moved on to what to do in the event of a baby or child being unresponsive. This lead to Simon showing us basic CPR for both babies and children. We were again given dummies to practice on and it is quite scary to know just how hard you actually need to be in your actions. Some of my fellow attendees were worried they wouldn’t do correct CPR but Simon said:

“crap cpr is better than no cpr”.

Did you know that 8 out of 10 members of the public who carry out resuscitation will do it on a close family member or friend? This fact alone is why it was so important to me to attend a First Aid Course.

Simon also brought us through what to do when a child has a fever, a burn, a head injury or heavy bleeding, to name but a few situations. Simon ended with hints and tips regarding Meningitis, a big worry for expectant and new parents, as well as parents of slightly older children. It is less of a worry for us now as we’ve had BattleKid’s first Meningitis B vaccination and he is due his second soon. However, that said, it was still good to hear Simon’s advice in case we come across another child with meningitis-like symptoms.

The two and a half hours flew by and it was one of the most important two and a half hours I’ve spent in quite a while. We all agreed that at the end of the course we felt better equipped to deal with certain medical situations, both in our own children and others. It was also the best £25 I’ve spent in a long time. We all received a booklet that goes with the course to refer to in the future, should we ever need to. But hopefully we won’t.

Simon reminded us of the NHSDirect lines to call for non-emergency things and also told us of the British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid App for phones which is free to download. It has many categories of first aid and is divided into baby (under 1) and child (over 1) where applicable. There are pictures and some videos for demonstration, with clear instructions and at the end of each section there is a relevant Q& and child first aid

baby and child first aid

There is also an adult version and is a handy thing to have on your phone because, as Simon said, we generally all have our mobile phones on or near us. Other First Aid apps from other sources are also available.

I firmly believe that I am better equipped now to deal with an emergency both at home or out and about and would be willing to help another child, whereas before I wouldn’t have been confident to even try. I am so glad I finally did a Baby and Child First Aid course and would highly recommend any parent considering one to just do it. If only one of you can attend (like in our case) then I recommend the parent who has the greatest contact with the child attend. I am going to try get BattleDad on another course but for now we are happy that at least I now have some basic first aid training to deal with any unfortunate incident that may arise with BattleKid. Let’s hope it doesn’t though!

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

*I was not asked to write this post.

Eles Clothing: Review

Are you into fashion as a hobby and are wondering how to make some money from that hobby? Well Eles Clothing might be right up your street.

Eles Clothing are one of the UK’s leading wholesale suppliers in fashion and could be your starting point if you are thinking of starting up your own little business, perhaps selling fashion clothing on eBay. They have over 25 years of supplying independent retailers and can keep their prices low by taking advantage of clearance and end-of-line prices.

Continue reading “Eles Clothing: Review”

30 Things I Love About My Boy – Part 2

I thought it was high time to update my 30 Things I Love About My Boy list as it’s been over a year since my first post! Some things remain the same, while there are newer ones but they are all things I love about BattleKid, aged two and a half.

  1. When he asks me “You OK mama”?
  2. When he wants to hold my hands spontaneously.holding hands
  3. “Helmet on” when he wants his bike helmet on.
  4. That he is well able for the BattleDogs.
  5. How happy he is in nursery. It gives us alot of confidence as parents.
  6. His willingness to always try new things. “Ada do it” is what we hear alot these days!
  7. His curly hair when it grows longer.
  8. The fascination he has with the stars on his ceiling.
  9. His spontaneous singing of nursery rhymes.
  10. The occasional time he will dance at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table.
  11. “No like it” to food he tastes and doesn’t like.
  12. His love of water – pool, beach, bath, shower.Lanzarote Day 6 o
  13. How easily he can melt my heart.
  14. How he will cling to us if we do a sharp intake of breath. We are guilty of using it to our advantage.
  15. Which is soon followed by “stop it mammy/daddy”.
  16. That he still needs us even though he is growing up so fast.
  17. How often he surprises us with new things he has learned.
  18. Our Waterbabies journey together.
  19. His obsession with cars and bikes.
  20. Family loves at bedtime after stories.
  21. That he is my little helper with the washing.
  22. His cheesy “cheese” for photos.cheesy cheese for photos
  23. His cute snores at night. I could stand by his cot and listen to them for hours.
  24. His confidence, even at 2.
  25. How much he love storybooks.
  26. How well his manners are coming along.
  27. His little white lies. Mum: “Ada have you got poop?” Alexander: “No mama, Ada all fine”.
  28. His love of hats (he has been sweating in nursery in June because he refused to take it off).
  29. His fascination at the world around him. “what’s that?”. Like how bowling balls always come back through the hole.
  30. That he remains our little boy.

I will no doubt update this list again in the future. They are a fun way to look back on what remains unchanged and all the newer things that bring us so much happiness with BattleKid.

Cath x