Before we start talking about how you can block RFID signals from getting in your wallet, let us first get some ground knowledge about what RFID actually is and why it should be a cause of concern with regards to cards. After that, we will look at the principle using which RFID signals can be blocked, and how you can take measures to make sure no one nicks your precious data off of your bank cards.
What is RFID?
What exactly is RFID? RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Using RFID, data can be transmitted and received remotely and need for physical contact is eliminated. The transfer of data occurs between an RFID tag and an RFID receiver. The former sends the data and the latter receives it.
RFID technology is used in things such as bus passes and passports. By making these sorts of documents and cards RFID-enabled, their stored data can be easily accessed by a receiver/reader.
How does RFID work in bank cards?
Bank cards, that are RFID-enabled, have an embedded chip which transmits data. When making a payment or completing a transaction, the raw principle of RFID comes into play - the transmission by the RFID tag and the reception by the receiver. In this case, the RFID tag is the chip which is found on the card and the receiver is the scanner using which the payment is made.
The benefit of RFID-enabled cards is that since you don’t have to hand it to anyone else, the chance of losing it or leaving it behind on the counter are lessened. Furthermore, they reduce the time taken for the transaction to complete.
Why should you be worried about RFID-enabled bank cards?
RFID-enabled cards have a remote workability (which means that they can transmit data at a distance) due to which they can be targeted by hackers. Hackers can use a reader or a receiver to take data from your card and use it for malicious purposes without your knowledge or consent.
This is basically the risk that comes with RFID. You can make use of the ‘no touch’ mechanism for your benefit but hackers can use it for theirs. In order to prevent this sort of theft, RFID wallets and sleeves are used. RFID Steel wallets can be more useful due to having a denser molecular structure.
How are malicious RFID signals blocked?
RFID signals are essentially blocked by materials that are conductive in nature. One of the easiest make-shift method of shielding RFID signals is to wrap the card in aluminum foil. Since the latter is a conductive material, it can block oncoming signals and saves your data from being stolen.
While this method is recommended in an emergency, it is not very practical to be adopted as a permanent practice. Instead, what you can do to shield your cards is to either use an RFID blocking sleeve or an RFID blocking front pocket wallet.
How to block RFID in my wallet?
Generally, there isn’t any additional measure that you have to take to block RFID signals from getting in your wallet. If a wallet is advertised as ‘RFID blocking’, then it means that it will already have the capability of keeping your cards safe from hackers and data theft.
If, however, you don’t have an RFID blocking wallet and are using a simple one instead, then you could use some aluminum foil as a temporary measure. Simply take a few layers of foil and wrap your card snugly inside them. Thereafter, put the card in your wallet. This method does have a few disadvantages and hitches. Firstly, taking the foil apart every time you want to make a payment can be a hassle. Secondly, when the foil will be applied to the card, its size will increase. It will, in all probability, not be able to fit in the pre-made card slots in your slim minimalist wallet. You will have to use your central pocket instead, and that could also be bothersome.
There you have it, folks. If you have an RFID-enabled card with you, go ahead and buy a special RFID blocking wallet, sleeve or cardholder. At Trayvax.com, you can choose from a range of different slim wallets for men, most of which are capable of blocking RFID signals. If you are not looking to spend a lot, you can take advantage of the affordable products offered by the company such as the Summit Wallet and the Original 2.0 Wallet. If you are, however, willing to spend some money, then there are high-priced products as well such as the Trayvax Contour. The choice is yours.