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RFID Protection: Is It Necessary?
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RFID Protection: Is It Necessary?

Why You Need to Need to Know About RFID Technology 

RFID stands for radio frequency identification. Whether you realize it or not, chances are you engage with RFID technology on a daily basis. If you’ve ever used your smartphone to complete a payment with a point of sale system, you were scanning your phone’s built-in RFID chip. And your passport? That’s equipped with an RFID chip, too. Maybe most importantly, if you carry a credit or debit card that can complete contactless payments, that card is equipped with an RFID chip as well. RFID technology makes life easier and can speed up the process of a transaction, but there’s a risk involved with using it. 

Someone holding a wallet and a credit card

Whenever any new piece of innovative technology comes around, there’s someone out there who wants to exploit it for personal gain. Since RFID chips transfer credit or debit card information to a point of sale system, they can also make this information vulnerable to falling into the wrong hands. The advent of RFID technology has brought along with it a new form of identity theft called skimming. Skimmers scan the RFID-equipped cards of passersby to get and use their credit or debit card information. This is, of course, something you want to do everything in your power to avoid. 

If you carry cards equipped with RFID chips, you’re potentially at risk of falling prey to skimming. Fortunately, there is an easy way to bypass this risk— carrying an RFID-blocking wallet. The modern man benefits from a wallet with built-in RFID protection because it means he can still enjoy the convenience of making contactless payments without worrying about identity theft. Plus, RFID-blocking wallets like the Parliament by Ekster look great and are easy to use, making it a clever solution to speed up your day.  

How to Tell if Your Card is RFID-Equipped 

It’s important to note that if your card has a chip, this doesn’t necessarily mean it has an RFID chip. Most credit and debit cards now typically come with a metal EMV chip that allows you to make payments by sliding your card into a reader as opposed to swiping it. However, the EMV chip in your card is different from an RFID chip. In order to tell if your card has an RFID chip in it, check for the RFID symbol on the card. This symbol looks like five white lines in a row, angled in.

Another way to determine if your card has an RFID chip inside it is to see if it can complete contactless payments. If so, your card is using RFID technology. Contactless payments can save you time when traveling and working, and they’re solely reliant on RFID technology. Even with the risk of skimming, there’s no need to get rid of your RFID-equipped cards. Instead, opt for a wallet with built-in RFID protection.

How RFID Protection Works 

RFID-blocking technology works to keep skimmers away from your credit card information by enclosing your cards in what is known as a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage blocks electromagnetic fields, rendering your cards unscannable by skimmers when enclosed in your wallet. In the Ekster Parliament wallet, each separate card slot is equipped with RFID-blocking technology.

Someone putting their wallet into their pocket

The more diligent you are in storing your cards in your wallet when not in use, the safer your information is from falling into the wrong hands. Some more DIY-focused individuals may try wrapping their cards in tin foil to have a similar effect as a Faraday cage. However, this is much less reliable than true RFID-blocking technology and can be a major inconvenience. Home-made tinfoil shields are a huge hassle when it gets around to actually using the card you’re trying to protect. Instead of wrapping and unwrapping your card every time, opt for a high-quality wallet with RFID-blocking technology. 

Is RFID-Blocking Technology Necessary? 

The question of whether getting an RFID-blocking wallet is necessary may be running through your mind as you read this article. After all, how likely could it be that an identity thief would pick your card to skim? However, it’s important not to walk through life with an invincibility complex, assuming that you won’t be someone the worst happens to. Anyone can be a victim of identity theft, and it’s best to be prepared for the worst instead of ignoring the possibility that your info might be at risk.

If you plan on carrying around RFID-enabled cards on a daily basis, using a wallet with RFID protection is a must. There’s no better way to have peace of mind while working, traveling, and making your day-to-day purchases. Plus, Ekster’s offering of RFID-blocking wallets look great, are easy to use, and won’t take up too much space in your pocket.

3 Great Options For RFID-Blocking Wallets

Fortunately, there isn’t just one option when it comes to RFID-blocking wallets. Whatever your aesthetic preferences and personal style are, Ekster has a wallet for you that will fit your lifestyle and protect your information.

The Parliament wallet by Ekster is an ideal option for any person who wants all the convenience and space of a classic bifold wallet, but with a smarter, sleeker design. The Parliament takes the concept of a wallet to the next level, moving away from the standard bifold design to something more modern. The Parliament wallet prioritizes card storage, with multiple RFID-protected slots for all the cards you’d need in your daily carry. Plus, there’s a multipurpose strap that can be used for cash. If you’re prone to losing your wallet, or if you’re traveling and concerned about it getting stolen, the Parliament can easily be equipped with a solar-powered tracker card. This card allows you to ping your wallet from your smartphone when it’s missing, as well as locate it on a map if it’s far away. 

If you want to stick to the classic bifold wallet design but need a combination of both form and function, Ekster’s Modular bifold wallet is for you. With RFID-protected card slots, plenty of room for cash, and a slim and compact look and feel, the Modular bifold takes an old-school design and updates it for modern life. If you’re a creature of habit and tend to have trouble with change, switching from your old wallet to the Modular bifold makes things easier. You’ll have the same interface you’re used to, but much, much better. Like the Parliament, the Modular bifold can be easily equipped with a smart tracker card without taking up too much of its ample storage space.

The slimmest, sleekest, and most compact RFID-protected wallet from Ekster is the Senate Cardholder. Similar to the Parliament wallet, the Senate deviates from the traditional wallet design in favor of a card-focused, convenient and compact alternative. If you don’t need to carry much cash and are looking to minimize your daily carry as much as possible, the Senate is here to help you with organizing your daily essentials. 

Take No Chances 

Person holding a cart wallet

It may seem unlikely that your credit card information would fall into the hands of a skimmer, but it’s better to be prepared just in case. This way, you’ll have peace of mind and have the defense you need if you are targeted by an identity thief. With Ekster’s wallets, you can keep your daily carry stylish while protecting your information. Instead of forsaking the convenience of contactless payment, keep your RFID-equipped cards and carry them safely and wisely with an RFID-blocking wallet. Problem solved.

Sources:

https://science.howstuffworks.com/faraday-cage.htm

https://www.identitytheft.gov

https://www.becomingminimalist.com/what-is-minimalism/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Olivier Momma

Founder | Head of Marketing


Here at Ekster, we're in the business of making your life easier.

We started with upgrading the traditional leather wallet, making it easier to use and harder to lose. Now, we're taking on the rest of your essentials to make each day easier for you.





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