When RFID-blocking wallets entered the market, they were considered the band-aid solution to the crime of RFID skimming. However, it’s worth taking a look at whether or not RFID skimming is likely to happen at all. Below, we’ll take a closer look at RFID skimming, RFID blocking, and whether or not you actually need them.
RFID is short for radio-frequency identification. It is a type of technology that allows data to be accessed wirelessly. In RFID, digital data is embedded into tags, which are commonly called RFID chips. Scanners can detect these chips at great distances since they leverage radio waves. This is what allows the data on credit cards and passports to be accessed remotely.
Credit cards, debit cards, passports, and more contain RFID chips that facilitate contactless transactions. Although it’s convenient, it does put cards, passports, etc. in a vulnerable situation. Hackers that have a “skimming” device can steal the data on the RFID documents. Once this data has been stolen, cybercriminals can clone the user’s cards, access their bank accounts, and sell their details on the black market.
The danger of RFID technology is that when criminals steal data, the owner won’t notice. Unlike pickpocketing, “skimmers” don’t need to get a hold of the card. They can steal the information from afar, and the owner would be unaware the entire time.
Fortunately, RFID-blocking wallets can keep cards, passports, etc. safe from skimming. They work by blocking the electromagnetic field that’s coming from the RFID chip so that skimmers won’t get a signal.
RFID wallets are often made of carbon fiber, but you can easily make your own RFID-blocking “wallet” by wrapping your card or passport with foil. As long as it’s strong enough to create an electromagnetic barrier, it’s good to go. For peace of mind, however, it would be best to buy an RFID wallet from a reputable brand. Besides, having to unwrap your card every time you have to pay would be weird. Alternatively, you could use an RFID card or insert, such as the RFID Armor Plate.
The truth is that the risk of RFID skimming is low. We won’t deny that RFID skimming is a threat, but it’s not as serious as you think. This is because criminals understand that there are easier ways to steal your credit card data. For starters, hackers can buy credit card numbers on the black market. Unlike skimming, they won’t break a sweat.
Additionally, most of the credit cards in the U.S. have EMV chips. An EMV-enabled card needs contact to work, meaning it can’t be skimmed.
So, do you need an RFID-blocking front pocket wallet? Probably not.
To protect your data, simply refrain from sharing your information online. When making an online purchase, make sure that you’re on a secure connection. You can also attach your card to a clip-on keychain so it doesn’t fall into a pickpocket/hacker’s hands.
You don’t need it, but you probably should buy it.
“But didn’t you say it isn’t a threat?”
We did, but it’s worth mentioning that RFID skimming is still a risk. Even if it doesn’t happen often, it can still happen, and you don’t want to regret not getting an RFID wallet when it does. Besides, you don’t need to buy a wallet that’s marketed as an RFID-blocking wallet. What makes a wallet an “RFID wallet” is the kind of material it uses. That’s why RFID wallets are typically made from carbon fiber, stainless steel, and so on.
If you’re in the market for a metal RFID wallet, you’ll like the Axis Wallet. It’s a contemporary take on the classic bi-fold wallet, with slots for fourteen cards and an interior money clip for your cash. If you’re looking for a leather wallet with RFID-blocking, look no further than the Ascent Wallet. With its slim profile, you can easily keep it in your front pocket to deter pickpockets.
Looking for a wallet that’s the best of both worlds? The Element Wallet flaunts a profile of stainless steel and top-grain leather, offering ruggedness and refinement at the same time.
If none of these wallets is your style, don’t worry. At Trayvax, we have a wide range of wallets that are crafted from premium materials such as stainless steel, aircraft-grade aluminum, fiberglass, and more.
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