Wondering what all the fuss is about RFID blocking? RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, and it’s everywhere.
It’s how the cashier at the store scans your credit card for payment or how medical personnel at hospitals track patient data.
Unfortunately, it’s also how cyber thieves steal credit card information without having any physical contact with their victims.
Innovative products such as RFID blocking cards are fighting back to protect consumers from illegal skimming. But what is an RFID blocking card?
In this post we’ll tell you everything you need to know, so you can feel safe wherever you go!
How do RFID blocking cards work?
According to a 2018 study from FICO, fraudulent card skimming is increasing at a rate of 10% per year.
That’s scary stuff, but it’s not surprising. As technology evolves, cyber thieves are diversifying their tactics and using RFID to their advantage.
A thief can scan your wallet and you’ll have no idea it’s even happening!
While you may be extra cautious when using your card at a gas station or ATM, what you may not know is that thieves can scan and steal your personal information in seconds, even if your wallet is tucked “safely” into the pocket of your jeans.
It’s as effortless as walking down the street. A thief doesn’t need to be anywhere near you to use an RFID reader or scanner to activate the RFID chip found in most credit cards, passports and even driver's licenses.
The RFID reader instantly receives vital info that can include your name, country of origin or even the credit card number.
You won’t have a clue that anything is amiss until you login to your bank account and discover the unthinkable.
With RFID blocking cards, you can nix the problem completely
An RFID blocking card is a simple and effective solution to get lifelong protection from rogue skimmers.
A single card is embedded with an electromagnetic blocking strip that when used correctly offers 100% protection from any angle.
No assembly or activation is required. RFID blocking cards look and feel just like any other bank cards, sliding into your wallet on top of your credit card stack to block RFID instantly.
How do I know if my RFID is blocking?
Simple, yet powerful- RFID blocking technology may be difficult to grasp at first, because obviously you can’t see it in action. How do you know if your shiny new RFID blocking card is doing its job?
First, let’s get into the nuts and bolts.
RFID: A Brief Overview
RFID operates at low radio frequencies between 125Khz and 13.56Mhz. The system requires an RFID reader, like the scanner at a store, and an RFID chip, which is found in everyday items such as smartphones, passports, credit cards, etc.
The RFID reader will send out a signal to activate the nearby RFID chip and receive the personal data it holds.
If the reader signal is blocked by a strip of metal (RFID blocking), then it cannot turn on the chip and the data stays concealed.
Here’s how you can test out the RFID blocking strip on your card
Test without the RFID blocking card first to see what info is turned up when your bank cards are scanned. Then, place the RFID blocking card in your wallet and scan it again.
Pro Tip: Try scanning from different angles, first with your card stack inside your wallet, bag or pocket and then scan it again out in the open.
This is how you can test your RFID blocking gear...
Pay Point Testing
You can take your RFID blocking card to any pay point with the option to scan and ask for permission to test your card. Simply scan the entire wallet and check the reader status. You can also take your card stack out of the wallet and scan it that way.
NFC-enabled smartphones are capable of scanning credit cards. If you have this type of phone, it’s easy to test your RFID blocking card. Smartphones are not as savvy as a skimmer, but you should be able to hold your phone up to your wallet and get a clear reading.
Buy an RFID Scanner
You won’t believe how easy it is to get your hands on an RFID scanner or RFID chip reader. There are literally hundreds of options on Amazon! This is the easiest and most accurate way to test your RFID blocking card, although you’ll have to spend money on the scanner.
How do I proof my RFID wallet?
Put away the tin foil, friend! You definitely do not need to resort to cumbersome solutions like wrapping your wallet up in aluminum to protect your identity!
There are numerous products that offer RFID blocking, from wallets to purses. The only drawback to RFID blocking bags is that you might not dig the styles available.
That’s why RFID blocking cards, like Guard Card, offer more flexibility without sacrificing effectiveness or personal taste. You can use it with any type bag or wallet.
Place a GuardCard inside of your wallet on top of your credit card stack and get 24/7 protection from any angle, no matter how far or close a thief may be.
Can RFID wallets go through airport security?
Since RFID wallets have a metal strip embedded within, some travelers worry that it will set off alarms when going through airport security- and no one has time for that headache!
Nowadays, RFID blocking wallets and cards pose no threat. They are not banned in airports and if handled accordingly, shouldn’t cause any delays.
As with any wallet, you’ll be required to place it on the security conveyor belt. Do not keep the wallet on you when going through any type of metal detector or X-ray machine.
Worst case scenario is if you forget and leave it in a pocket. You’ll just get pulled aside for a quick full body sweep (the same as if your belt buckle set off a machine).
Conclusion: RFID blocking cards are the most versatile way to protect your credit card info
Electronic pickpockets use RFID readers to send out wireless signals that target RFID chips found in credit cards, passports and identification cards. The RFID blocking card uses a strip of metal to disrupt the signal and block the reader from accessing the chip and gleaning sensitive information such as names, addresses, card numbers or even making purchases.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting weird stares over your tinfoil-wrapped monstrosity!
Just slide it in with your credit card stack and you’re 100% protected.