You likely know what RFID (radio-frequency identification) skimming is. It’s an electronic crime where someone sneaks up and wirelessly steals the data that’s written into your credit card or passport, such as your name, address, birth date, and so on. These criminals then sell your information or use it for fraud.
RFID skimming has been a problem for who-knows-how-long, scaring people into purchasing RFID-blocking products such as RFID-blocking wallets, RFID-blocking cards, and so on. The truth, however, is that RFID skimming is an unlikely crime.
What is RFID?
RFID is the method of transmitting data over short distances through the use of radio waves. It was initially intended for industrial purposes, but today, it is used in all sorts of items such as passports, credit cards, and identification cards. Within these items, you can find an RFID chip that contains information such as someone’s name, address, and so on.
How does RFID work?
Chips that are embedded into credit cards, passports, etc. emit signals that can be read by a reader. In other words, someone wouldn’t have to get hold of your credit card to access its data, unless you’re carrying your cards in an RFID wallet, of course. They’d only need to be close enough to scan it -- about 100 meters, to be specific. If the criminal succeeds, they can use your card without your knowledge, as they wouldn’t need to swipe it anymore. They’d already have everything they need.
Should you be worried about RFID skimming?
Although RFID skimming is indeed a threat, it is an unlikely one. In theory, while someone can scan your card or passport from afar, there are -- unfortunately -- easier ways for them to steal your data. RFID skimming takes a lot of work but it generates hardly any gain.
Today, credit card companies send a one-time code to process a transaction. What’s more, even if thieves were able to succeed with their purchase, the cardholder would easily be able to dispute it. Thieves would also have to worry about RFID-blocking wallets. If their victims have RFID wallets, they wouldn’t be able to steal a single bit of data.
To sum it up, RFID skimming is real, but you shouldn’t be threatened by it. You should, however, be worried about ATM skimming -- now that’s something your RFID steel wallet would be powerless against.
So, should you still buy an RFID-blocking wallet?
It depends on your level of risk-averseness. If you’re that worried about RFID skimming, by all means, buy an RFID-blocking wallet. As they say, you can’t put a price on peace of mind. If you’re confident that the chances of it happening are slim, you can make use of any front pocket wallet. Then again, many of today’s wallets have RFID-blocking protection even if they aren’t marketed as that. Hence, if you’re in the market for a new wallet, you might as well get one that can secure your data.
What are the best RFID-blocking wallets?
Think RFID wallets add bulk to your pocket? Think again. RFID-blocking wallets should be discreet, so you’re sure to find one that’s both functional and fashionable. Below, you will find some of the best RFID-blocking wallets in the market:
#1 Big Skinny Slimline Wallet
RFID-blocking wallets that are also bi-fold wallets aren’t easy to find. That’s why the Big Skinny Slimline Wallet stands out. Manufactured from a nylon microfiber material, the Slimline Wallet is a lightweight wallet that’s meant for long-term use and abuse. It can carry up to 25 cards with its four card slots, as well as plenty of cash with its spacious main compartment.
#2 Trayavx Armored Summit Wallet
The Trayvax Armored Summit Wallet doesn’t look like your standard wallet, which is actually a good thing. That way, thieves won’t even know what it is. The Summit Wallet features a slim profile so you can easily slip it into your pants pocket. This tactical wallet is crafted from nylon and stainless steel and can carry up to seven cards. It also has an integrated money clip so you can carry some cash in case of emergencies.
If you’re in the market for an RFID-blocking wallet, you’ll be pleased to know that all of the wallets at Trayvax come with RFID protection. Best of all, they’re all well-designed so you don’t have to sacrifice style for safety.
While you’re there, why don’t you check out our keychain accessories? By clipping your RFID wallet to a keychain, you can keep your cards safe from cybercriminals and pickpockets.