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Best RFID Blocking Wallets for Protecting Your Contactless Cards
RFID Contactless Cards
The majority of credit and debit cards issued by banks are now 'contactless' which means they contain a small wireless chip called a RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tag which transmits data wirelessly. They are designed to make paying with a debit or credit card much faster and to help cut down on 'Chip and Pin' fraud as you do not need to enter your pin number when making a payment. To make a payment in a store you simply touch your contactless card on the card reader and the transaction is complete. This does make paying for items like a coffee when you are in a hurry very convenient but this convenience comes at a price, maybe more than your morning latte.
It is not only bank cards which contain RFID tags, increasingly passports, identity cards & driving licences which hold vast amounts of personal data use RFID tags.
Vulnerabilities of RFID Cards
Due to the nature of the technology, contactless, which is essentially wireless, the data stored on the card is subject to interception by people who wish to obtain the information stored on the cards for fraudulent use.
Cards embedded with RFID chips actually make a fraudsters job easier rather than harder as they can steal and use the information on the card without you even knowing they have it. Before RFID embedded cards, if your wallet or bag was stolen you could call your bank and cancel your cards before they could be used. With contactless cards a fraudster only has to touch a concealed RFID scanner against your back pocket with your wallet in it to get all the information they need to clone your card.
A scammer could even pickpocket your wallet, scan the cards in seconds and then, appearing to be a good Samaritan, give you your wallet back with you believing your information is still safe, giving you no reason to contact your bank to cancel the cards.
Although RFID enabled cards are only designed to work at close proximity to RFID readers there are many readily available scanners which can extend the range to several feet. In a crowded public place such as a metro station a scammer can easily harvest the details of hundreds of cards in a very short space of time.
There are many websites dedicated to detailing this scam and supplying the scanners and tutorials on how to do it. Cloning RFID cards is no longer the preserve of experienced cyber criminals, you can even buy the equipment and blank RFID cards on eBay.
Although the scanning and cloning of RFID cards is relatively easy there are a number of way to protect yourself from this emerging scam. Simply using a RFID wallet which is usually made from or contains aluminium blocks the signals and makes it impossible to read the data stored on the cards. RFID wallets are available in a wide range of styles from classic men's leather wallets, women's purses and ultra modern metal case designs.
Best RFID Wallets
The basic component of a RFID blocking wallet is aluminium so in theory you could simply wrap your cards in aluminium foil but this option is not very attractive or practical. There are many manufactures of RFID wallets but the market leaders are Sharkk, Ogon, Access Denied, Travelon, Rogue and Identity Stronghold.
Each manufacturer has their on unique styling and trademark designs.
Sharkk RFID wallets are mostly ultra modern, metal case designs available in a range of funky colours.
Sharkk have established themselves as one of the market leaders in RFID protection. Their range is huge and they are constantly innovating new products and designs.
Access Denied produce traditional wallets usually using real leather which is why their products are slightly more expensive but you always have to pay a little extra for quality.
Ogon Aluminum Wallet With RFID Protection
Ogon's range is similar to Sharkk but with a much wider choice of designs.
Many of their wallets are available in a range of bold, bright colours and patterns, if you want to protect your contactless cards and make a statement then the Ogon range is a good place to start.
Rouge currently only have a small range but they specialise in wallets designed to fit in your front pocket which stops your pockets from bulging and due to the design prevents the wallet from wearing out so quickly.
The design is pretty unique and won't be to everyone's taste but if you are looking for comfort and protection then the Rouge range could be right for you.
Travelon have a huge range of RFID blocking products, many designed with women in mind & not just limited to wallets, they make large and small bags, purses, clutch bags, messenger bags and passport holders
Buxton RFID Purse
Buxton's RFID women's purse looks and feels like an ordinary purse but with added RFID blocking.
Made from faux leather and available in a selection of colours. It has two zipped compartments, 9 accordion folds for cards and a see-through compartment for photo ID cards or driver's licence.
It is compact and ideal for small bags, pockets or anytime you want to travel light.
In addition to their range of RFID wallets Identity Stronghold also produce single thin RFID blocking sleeves which can protect individual cards in any wallet or a signal card carried in your pocket.