What are RFID Wallets Made of?
Once you’ve made the choice to buy an RFID-blocking wallet, you might get frustrated by the lack of clear, concise information that you can find about these unique accessories.
Due to the different opinions that people have about whether or not you need to use this type of wallet to secure your credit card information, the discussions that you might find online are often surrounding that issue rather than addressing some basic facts.
For instance, what are RFID wallets made of? A simple search of this question will yield taunting answers such as “a tin foil hat” when, really, all you want is information. Today, we’ll answer this question and explain why the materials used are effective at blocking RFID.
What Are RFID Wallets?
Let’s start with a quick overview of what RFID wallets are and how you can use them to protect your RFID-enabled cards from skimming. RFID is a specific type of technology that allows a chip that is holding secure information to be identified using radio frequencies.
In case you don’t know yet, RFID chips are in certain types of credit cards and documents, specifically those that can be read without touching or swiping anything.
RFID wallets are a special type of wallet that has the ability to scramble incoming radio signals to prevent the RFID chip in your cards from being read. Since RFID skimmers can steal your credit card information through a normal wallet, these wallets are useful for reducing the risk of your information being stolen.
What Are RFID Wallets Made Of?
Now that you know what RFID wallets are, you might be wondering: what are RFID wallets made of? What makes it possible for them to prevent skimming from happening?
Because there are two main categories of RFID wallets, we’ll talk about each of them separately so you can get a full understanding of what each wallet type does to prevent skimming.
Metal Casing Wallets
Some RFID wallets look like a metal case. These wallets rely on the outer material—the metal—to block any attempts at scanning the RFID chips inside the wallet. Metal’s properties make it difficult for a scanner to send radio frequencies through the metal itself, so it can stop skimming attempts in their tracks.
RFID-Blocking Material Wallets
Other wallets utilize a layer of RFID-blocking material to keep skimmers from getting what they want. This layer of fabric is usually an interior layer, and it works similarly to the metal casing because it also includes metal.
Most wallet brands use a blend of copper and nickel in the RFID-blocking cloth layer. The metal bonds create a cage that prevents signals from getting in or out of the wallet, and that is how your information is protected.
There are a number of different blends of metals used in RFID-blocking layers. Depending on which material is used, the RFID-blocking ability will differ. For that reason, some wallets will block the skimming attempts better than others. Depending on how concerned you are about RFID skimming, you can choose a wallet based on its level of blocking ability.
How to Make Your Own RFID Wallet
The basis of store-bought RFID-blocking wallets is metal. Metal blends are used to keep the signals from getting in or out, and that is how your cards are protected. If you aren’t ready to buy an RFID-blocking wallet from the store just yet, then why not make your own?
RFID wallets are made of metal blends, and you certainly have some of those at home, so why not put them to work? You would be surprised at what you can use from around your home to keep your stuff safe.
This video gives a great example of how you can utilize aluminum foil to add an RFID-blocking layer to any wallet that you already own:
If you don’t have a wallet that you like already, you can make one from scratch to test out the RFID-blocking technology by simply using aluminum and duct tape:
As you can see, blocking RFID skimmers is quite simple. However, these beginner DIY wallets are not as chic or as stylish as many of the RFID-blocking wallets that you can find on the market. While there are a lot of options to look through, you’ll be more satisfied if you find a great RFID-blocking wallet that fits your style.
No matter what type of RFID-blocking wallet you choose to get, it is important to eliminate the risk of your RFID-enabled cards from being compromised. While the risk of RFID skimming isn’t high, there’s no reason not to protect yourself from this danger.
The best way to keep yourself away from being scammed is to be aware of the risks that there are in the world. With RFID-blocking wallets, you can do just that.