Did you know that there are devices capable of reading your credit cards, passport and even your driver’s license without them ever leaving your wallet?
Well, there are and the people who have them are not your friends. They want to steal your identity, your personal information and your money. The worst part is that they can get all of that information without your knowledge. It’s scary thing to think about, but it’s a reality. Luckily, preventing them from accessing your information can be as simple as upgrading your wallet.
How RFID Technology Puts You at Risk
Today’s credit cards, driver’s licenses and passports use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology that makes transferring bank information and identity verification easier. The cards contain an RFID chip that transmits your information when you make a purchase. The chip is what makes it possible for you wave your card in front of a scanner to complete a transaction instead of having to swipe it through a card reader. It’s fast, it’s convenient and it’s becoming more popular every day.
Unfortunately, that convenience also puts you at risk. The technology that makes it easier for you to complete transactions also makes it easier for criminals to obtain your personal information. Criminals and other unscrupulous people can buy or build counterfeit scanners capable of scanning your card while it’s still in your wallet. All of this happens without your knowledge. Before you know it, someone has stolen your money, taken your identity and ruined your credit.
RFID-Blocking Wallets Keep Your Information Secure
RFID technology isn’t bad; it’s actually quite useful and convenient. Plus, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Thankfully, security experts have created wallets, sleeves and pouches that prevent scanners from reading your cards when they’re inside the wallet.
RFID-blocking wallets typically contain a piece of metal between the outside of the wallet and your credit cards that blocks RFID transmissions. But, like anything else, not all RFID-blocking wallets are created equal. Some are simply more effective than others are. Additionally, even the best ones can fail. So, while these products will keep your information much safer, it’s still important to develop safe habits and exercise caution with cards containing your personal information.
The technology that prevents RFID transmissions is fairly basic. It’s essentially a piece of metal that prevents your card from communicating with scanners. It literally blocks the signal. The best way to select the most effective wallet is to do a bit of research and find out what others have to say about the many different choices.
Style and Selection
A wallet is a personal thing, and some of the RFID-blocking wallets available are downright ugly. Even if you aren’t a fashionista, you don’t want to be carrying around an ugly and uncomfortable wallet. Luckily, RFID wallets come in a variety of styles and materials. Here are a few of the most common options.
- Bi-fold – These are one of the most popular options. They are the same size as a standard bi-fold wallet and come in a variety of materials, including traditional leather.
- Tri-fold – Tri-fold RFID wallets are another popular option. Again, they are the same size as a traditional tri-fold wallet and are available in a number of materials.
- Long – Long wallets come in both bi- and tri-fold configurations. They are typically long enough so that you can keep cash flat and not need to fold it over.
- Accordion or fan – These wallets are generally made entirely of metal. They are the original RFID wallets. They may not be as stylish as other RFID wallets, but they are often the most secure.
RFID-blocking wallets come in many other designs and styles as well. As they have gained popularity, more designers are making them every year in different shapes, configurations and materials. At the end of the day, you have a ton of styles to choose one. However, don’t forget that the purpose of an RFID wallet is to keep your sensitive financial and personal information safe from unauthorized scanning devices. No matter what option you choose, be sure that the blocking panel is large enough to protect your cards. If it isn’t, it won’t work and your information will be available for the taking.
RFID-blocking wallets are a simple and affordable way to keep your information safe from the prying eyes of criminals. Choosing the one that fits your needs best is as simple as reading a couple of reviews, ensuring that the blocking panel is large enough and choosing a style and material that you won’t make you embarrassed when you’re paying for dinner.
If you believe that you may have been a victim of identity or credit card theft you should periodically run a background check on yourself to see if any false information about yourself pops up.