As technology progresses so does the threat to our data’s security. And we are managing our personal information online while adopting security measures there is always a threat to our sensitive information from our very pockets. You can protect your sensitive information by using wallets that take use of RFID blocking technology, or more specifically “RFID wallets”.
What exactly are RFID wallets? That’s what we’ll be discussing and furthermore how you can make an RFID wallet yourself!
What is RFID?
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID is a new type of technology which essentially uses an electromagnetic field to track and identify objects that have tags containing digital information. RFID is actually similar to the barcoding system however this technology is far more elevated. So it can not only track basic product information but also get access to sensitive information.
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And while this technology was initially meant to make lives easier (they can speed up the passport checking process and can allow for contactless payment via credit cards) however, the technology has been taken advantage of wrongly.
Coming back to RFID technology, a RFID system is made up of two parts i.e. a tag and a reader. The tag can be battery powered or passive and the information coded on the tag is then read using the reader (a two radio transmitter-receiver). Once the coded information is read by the reader it is sent to an RFID computer system.
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As we’ve mentioned before, this technology has a number of applications including military, passports, laptops and credit cards etc. They are widely used in credit cards for contactless payment. A RFID card will have the following:
- A Wi-Fi type logo on the side
- A small rectangular chip on the front of the card
How do RFID chips work?
RFID chips contain an RFID tag which comprises of an antenna and a chip. An RFID reader is used to read the tag.
Once the tag comes in reading distance of the RFID reader, it can access details of the card such as the name, card number etc. This means your information may easily be compromised. Hackers use RFID skimmers to access you credit card. They use RFID readers from a safe distance which will scan and download all information from the card which is they used to duplicate your card. Hackers will then use it however they like, maybe leaving you with an empty bank account.
Credit card companies however, do take measures to make sure your card is safe. You can also request for a card without RFID if you’d like. Or you could simply try RFID blocking wallets.
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What are RFID Blocking Wallets?
Now, while these wallets look like normal wallets, they come with RFID protection. RFID blocking wallets take use of an electromagnetic enclosure technology caked a ‘Faraday Cage’. This is used to make the credit cards safe from RFID signals by distributing electric charges around the cage’s exterior.
You can always buy a new RFID blocking wallet or you could make one yourself! Here’s how:
You can block RFID signals by taking the use of a metal. A simple aluminum foil around 0.024mm thick should do the job. You will also require duct tape and a pair of scissors.
How to make a DIY RFID blocking wallet- Step-by-step
- Take a sheet of Aluminum foil around 0.024mm thick
- Place it on a flat surface such as a table/desk.
- Take your duct tape and cut it into long strips (as long as the length of your wallet)
- Take one duct tape strip and stick it over the aluminum foil. Now position the next strip so that it overlaps the first one, but not completely
- Add the remaining strips following the same process. A time will come when your duct tape sheet is larger than your wallet.
- Next. trim the edges and fold the sheet into half so that top and bottom touch.
- Next, tape the side ends of the wallet.
- Finally, fold in half again so that the right side touches the left side.
That’s all! And now you have your very own RFID blocking wallet!