Why you don't need an RFID-blocking wallet

RFID wallets, sleeves and clothing are security snake oil. You don't need RFID protection because there is no RFID crime.

Why you don't need an RFID-blocking wallet
Pixabay (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

RFID blocking wallets, sleeves, and other products offer protection against RFID skimming. The problem isn't that these products don't work, it's that they're a solution to a problem that doesn't exist in the real world. RFID-related crime isn't only very unlikely, it's non-existent.

It happens every Christmas. My friends, knowing my long-time career in computer security, can’t wait to show me how smart they were for buying RFID wallets, purses, and even jeans and jackets. What they don’t know, unless they read this, is that it’s a complete waste of money.

What is RFID and how does it work?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a short-distance electro-magnetic method for transmitting small bits of data. It was initially used primarily for inventory tracking, but morphed into all sorts of uses, including authentication, passports, identification cards and credit cards. It’s the latter use that has driven a billion-dollar defense industry offering specially designed RFID-blocking accessories. You can even buy RFID-blocking totes, fanny packs, and backpacks.

rfid blocking wallet purse Tricia Grimes

The manufacturer's claims would be true, if not for the fact that there isn't any RFID crime to protect against.

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