There is no doubt that Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has its good application to help people go about their financial transaction in a more effective way. The good message is spreading across the globe with many countries now adopting the technology to design their credit cards.
The magnetic stripe era has long outlived its effectiveness in the modern day time, though it dominated the financial transaction scene over a long period of time. RFID is more effective but this is not without some concerns about safety issues.
The beautiful technology can be described to still be struggling and is still not that convincing to handle the security issues that have bedeviled it in recent times.
As the world gets more sophisticated, things are going from bad to the worse in crime. The power of electronic technology and the use of scanners have made some of the most valued items we use daily more vulnerable than we ever expected they will be.
Table of Contents
- 1 Identity Theft – Why Should It Concern You?
- 2 1. Keep Your Wallet In The Front Pocket
- 3 2. Have Your Credit Cards Placed Close to Each Other
- 4 3. Take A Look Around Before You Pull Out Your Credit Card
- 5 4. Buy And Use An RFID Wallet/Sleeve
- 6 5. Insert An RFID Jamming Device In Your Wallet
- 7 6. Wrap Your Credit Card In Aluminum Foil
- 8 7. Make An Aluminum Shiled
- 9 What’s The Best Way To Protect Your Cards?
Identity Theft – Why Should It Concern You?
Identity theft and electronic thieves are all over the place. These days, technology is easily applied by almost all who can use the smartphone.
With a simple scanner that can be acquired easily online, a lethal weapon can just find its way into the hands of every person who is criminally minded to perpetuate their nefarious acts.
RFID-enabled cards are now widely used in Europe and America. An RFID-based credit card transmits data by using radio frequencies.
The new development is that credit card owners will no longer need a swipe through a scanner to make payments in stores.
The concern for the use of the RFID technology is already playing out with electronic thieves now find it a more convenient way to steal people’s vital personal information using an RFID scanning device.
Since most people find their wallet a comfortable place to keep their credit cards, electronic thieves are now able to within distances away steal credit card information without the holder knowing anything ever happened at the period.
To keep yourself fully protected against these electronic criminals, here are seven ways of protecting your credit cards right there in your wallet.
1. Keep Your Wallet In The Front Pocket
It is customary to have your wallet kept at the back pocket or by the side. Not many people take to using their front pocket as a location for their wallet. But for the purpose of protecting your credit cards from thieves, your front pocket will be a good place to keep you conscious.
Whoever wants to make a scan will definitely be right there in front of you and that will raise some suspicion.
The idea here is carefulness. To have access to your credit cards, electronic thieves need to do a scan a few feet away. This will be a difficult one for any electronic thief to easily do right in front of you without you suspecting.
With your credit cards rightly placed in the front pocket, you can as well detect suspicious movement by anyone right in front of you. Have in mind that this does not actually mean a scan cannot be successfully done. It can be done right in front of you if you don’t care.
Vigilance is the watchword and you need to stay away from places where there are many people in your front. If you decide to go with this approach to safeguard your credit card info, take to keeping watch for any suspicious moves.
So, you have a good reason to want to have your credit card in front of you.
Conversely, you’re endangering your vital info when your back pocket is the fancied place to keep your wallet. You won’t know what anyone does at your back.
Your credit card is more vulnerable this way. Having your wallet in the front pocket keeps you on the alert. You should be able to detect any suspicious move by anyone who tries to come closer to you with a hidden scanning device.
2. Have Your Credit Cards Placed Close to Each Other
When you have more than one RFID-enabled devices with you, keeping them close together helps to confuse scanners from getting a successful scan of one particular credit card or other smart cards that are RFID-enabled. You can build on this habit for your everyday outing to keep safe.
Going outdoors with your credit cards in your wallet requires that you are more proactive. You can do this by taking helpful measures to save yourself from losing vital information and funds. If you have to take along your credit card all the time, you can apply this method to confuse the scanning system.
As you do, this will not provide any useful information about the scanning even if one is done. This can be done by having your credit cards piled in stack close to one another if you have more than one with you at the time. It may not necessarily have to be all credit cards for this method to be applied.
If there are different smart devices that are embedded with the RFID chip, you can use those alongside your credit card too.
This is more like a trick sort of. Placing your credit cards next to the other is a ploy to confuse the RFID scanner from intercepting the right signal from your cards. This confuses the thief as well who will be unable to read a particular signal from your wallet.
Again, this method may not absolutely be a solid proof against identity theft or electronic thieves but it has proven to be effective to help save funds from credit cards.
3. Take A Look Around Before You Pull Out Your Credit Card
Still on being careful and vigilant, looking around you before ever pulling out your credit card from your wallet can be a good one to save you from electronic thieves.
With the new improvement in the RFID technology, scanning of the RFID card is only possible at short distances. This is what you need to take this approach.
Before you pull out your wallet for payment while at the store, you should hold on and take a look around you to be sure nobody is locking around aimlessly.
If anybody happens to be around a few feet away from other than the staff of the company, you’re potentially at risk if you go ahead to carry out a transaction. You can expose yourself to be the next target even outside the location this way. You can’t tell who the thief is by the face.
Beside personal habits and carefulness when using your credit cards, going by a shielding method to protect your credit cards is a more reliable technique for securing your vital information from identity thieves.
This is using technology to fight against a negative application of what should naturally be good. Here are some of the ways you can choose from.
4. Buy And Use An RFID Wallet/Sleeve
What do you use to hold your credit cards when outdoors? Will you rather go for a sleeve which is more minimal and meant for cards only? Or is it a wallet that can allow you to keep other items?
Whichever of the two you are more comfortable with; the good thing is that you can go beyond just the ordinary wallet or sleeve. RFID wallets are anti-RFID scan wallets and sleeves.
A technology-inclined design of these wallets or sleeves comes with the RFID protection in them. An RFID blocking wallet uses a special type of shield called the Faraday cage. The shield helps to block electromagnetic signals. The protective shield is designed with a conductive substance like metal or carbon fiber.
This is added in the design of some wallets and sleeves to counter prospective scans from being carried out on your credit cards.
There are currently many sleeves and wallets on the market that offer RFID shielding. These products are designed with special linings to block RFID scans and to prevent thieves from having access to your personal information. You can choose between the two for your protection.
You can go specifically with just a sleeve that is RFID-protected to hold only your credit cards or go with an RFID-protected wallet to store other items alongside your credit cards.
Wallets are more comprehensive as they usually have compartments for other items you might want to go around with all the time. It all boils down to your preference but both are good ways to safely keep your credit cards.
RFID blocking wallets are available in the market and are affordable. You don’t need to break the bank before you buy one for your credit card’s protection.
They may not be cheap but they are not expensive either if they are going to serve a purpose such as protecting all your funds. You can find one to buy at your local store as they are readily available. The online option may make things easier for you if you’re comfortable with that.
A quick note here; only buy RFID wallet or sleeve from a reliable source, one that has proven records backing it up.
5. Insert An RFID Jamming Device In Your Wallet
RFID jamming cards are more like shields but they function differently when compared to shields. They emit signals. You’ll find the typical RFID jammer just like your credit card size.
They come with their own signal as a counter signal to protect your credit card from being scanned by RFID scanners. They are developed to literarily jam the electrical signals around to prevent access to your credit card.
RFID jamming cards are cards much like your credit cards. Their working principle is a simple one.
They are built with the capability to send out their own RFID signals which actually has no usefulness than to confuse scanners trying to steal your personal information through your credit cards. You can give protection to your credit cards by placing it next to your credit card.
When buying any of these jamming cards, make sure you’re buying a genuine product that will give your credit cards full protection. There are some in the market that are only able to give partial protection but claims to provide you the adequate protection you need for your debit or credit cards.
There are proven brands on the market. Just be careful you’re dealing with the right manufacturer. This device can also be called a card guard.
6. Wrap Your Credit Card In Aluminum Foil
An innovative way to keep electronic thieves properly checked is by using an aluminum foil to wrap your credit card before slotting it into your wallet. An aluminum foil has the ability to shield the card from RFID scanners. You can get this done by yourself. You only need to buy an aluminum foil which is then cut into a shape that sufficiently covers your credit card.
Aluminum foil is commonly associated with the kitchen. It is mostly used in cooking. The following properties make it useful for cooking and also why it is adopted and used against RFID signals.
It has strong electrical conductivity, it is a good conductor of heat and it has reflective properties. It is formidable and flexible, so, you can twist it to any form you want it.
Some school of thought believes that aluminum foil does it better to block RFID signals than the common RFID blocking wallets or sleeves that do the same but are more expensive.
Another school of thought thinks otherwise. They believe aluminum foil only obstructs the signal and doesn’t block the RFID signals completely but prevents pickpockets from reading your credit card information from a long range distance.
From both thoughts, it is quite clear aluminum foil actually blocks signals coming from scanners targeted at RFID-enabled credit cards.
Whichever, it is, it is great to have a material you can take the DIY approach to implement and get a similar result if not better, unlike other products you’ll have to pay some good money to acquire.
7. Make An Aluminum Shiled
Since the aluminum foil works and gives the needed protection to your credit cards, making one all by yourself should be an adventure worth given some consideration.
If you’re the do it yourself type, this is an opportunity to craft out the best aluminum foil shield for your credit card’s safety.
You can have something as close as the aluminum shield you often buy in the market to protect your credit card from being stolen. It is an easier approach to buying a shield for your credit card’s safety.
You can get the design done in a simple way by cutting two pieces of cardboard or paper into a credit card size. Wrap the pieces with an aluminum foil.
Put them close to your credit cards in the wallet. This is to make the aluminum foil to disrupt the electronic signal. You’re done with a self-made aluminum foil this way for your credit card’s safety.
What’s The Best Way To Protect Your Cards?
The best way to protect your credit cards in your wallet may not be known yet but some are more effective than others as examined above.
There is no one single way that can be used to protect the credit cards in your wallet. You have the option of going for premium products and doing something yourself.
An RFID wallet is usually an already made design that is popular with many people. There are various designs and styles on the market for you to choose from.
RFID jammer cards are even more reliable if you find the right brand that makes high-quality jammers which provide a total shield for your credit card. This type usually leads to a denied access to your credit card when a scan is done.
One of the above methods may work best for you. If you often find yourself in crowded places, using an RFID jammer can be the best option for you. If on the other hand, the environment you find yourself is often less populated, having your wallet hung in front of you or in your front pocket may be the ideal one.
This is if you want to take to the being careful option to protect your funds and identity.
You can get busy with an aluminum foil that works to protect your credit cards by doing it yourself. You only need to buy an aluminum foil from the market and cut into shapes as your credit card to shield against unsolicited scans.
If you have your way with many credit cards, make sure to keep them close together to confuse prospective scans from electronic thieves.
These are the seven ways your credit cards can be kept safe from electronic pickpockets. The list may not be exhaustive as new developments come up frequently.
The bottom line is, your wallet can be turned into a fighting tool against electronic thieves who are hell-bent on stealing what belongs to you.