There was a time when people would only worry about physical theft or robbery such as robbers threatening others with a knife or gun or slashing of the bag in various places.
However, technology has changed the way thieves steal. Data theft is now common where individuals take a long time to realize that their money or information has been stolen.
Fear of personal data falling into the wrong hands has become prevalent, which pushed manufacturers to produce products made of RFID blocking technology. But what is RFID blocking material made of and how does it work?
The Basics of the RFID System
One cannot understand how the RFID blocking system without knowing how the RFID system works.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, which uses radio waves both to read as well as capture any information stored on a tag of an object. This tag-carrying information can be read from a distance and does not have to be in the direct line of sight of the reader.
The RFID system has two main parts, namely, the tag or label and the reader. The tags or labels have a transmitter and receiver that are both embedded. The RFID within the tags also have two components. First is the microchip for storing and processing the information and second is the antenna that transmits and receives the signal.
To be able to read the stored information on the RFID tags, a two-way transmitter-receiver or more popularly referred to as a reader sends a signal to the tag via the antenna. The tag then replies with the information it has stored.
The RFID system is now widely used such as for tracking people and even animals, in machine-readable travel documents like passports, payment system, tracking of goods for retail, and toll collection. Banks also use this technology for their credit, debit and ATM cards.
What Is RFID Blocking Material Made Of?
Data theft is rampant these days given the broad application of the RFID system. After all, the tags in the RFID contains a lot of confidential information such as date of birth, passport details, and bank and credit card data, to name a few. Thieves now obtain information using RFID readers, which is known as skimming, and unfortunately, victims are not even aware that they are already being robbed.
Fortunately, manufacturers have come up with a way for consumers to protect their information using the RFID-blocking technology, which can be found in purses and bags, so travelers and commuters will have some peace of mind.
As its name suggests, the RFID-blocking technology shields and protects the objects with the RFID tag or chip. There are two ways of classifying the RFID blocking, namely, the Active and Passive guards. The former uses a microchip that usually sends out a signal to interfere the reading.
This microchip either drains the power of the transmitting signal reading the information or pretends to be a different card that will cause an issue with the reader. Either function will block skimming or information pickpocketing.
On the other hand, passive shields either work by reflective loss or bouncing the radio frequency energy or through absorption loss or the absorption of power in the shield.
So, what is RFID blocking material made of? For active RFID blocking, the material is a microchip while for the passive blockers, the most commonly used materials are aluminum, carbon fiber, and other conductive materials.
RFID-Blocking Technology Infused Items
Plenty of manufacturers are producing items that have the RFID-blocking technology for travelers. These items would include laptop sleeves and organizer, bags, wallets, and pouches.
Wallets come in various materials, colors, shapes, and styles. Wallets with the RFID protection usually have a metal mesh layer or any other similar material at the outer part of the wallet regardless of the style. Simply put, these wallets have a barrier when the wallet is closed but might be prone to skimming once open.
Card sleeves, on the other hand, are small where users only need to slip either a card or an ID. Card sleeves are cheaper than wallets and can be purchased in packs. There is an advantage to using the sleeves as one can keep his or her regular purse as the card or cards already have their protection. However, adding card sleeves can make the wallet bulkier especially if there is more than one card sleeve with RFID protector.
Card cases are usually made from durable materials like aluminum or metal and can vary in size depending on the number of cards it can hold. Some cases can only protect one card while other can keep many cards at the same time. Cardholders can be placed inside the bags and purses.
Passport covers as its name suggests are for passports so that no data theft will occur from this government-issued identification. Passport holders' designs vary as some can have space for other items like IDs or credit cards while others are merely sleeves just enough to cover the passport.
Bags come in different designs and styles such as backpacks, shoulder, hand or crossbody. Travel bags with RFID-blocking technology have pockets that contain the blocking technology. For example, shoulder bags or backpacks may have one or several inner pockets that have the RFID-blocking technology. This kind of bag is perfect for those who do not want to carry multiple items with RFID protection such as wallets or cardholders when they travel.
Protection Is A Must
Gone are the days when we only have to look over our possessions or our shoulders to see if there is a possibility of theft or robbery. These days, skimming or data information stealing is so rampant because one does not see the theft taking place. All it takes is an RFID reader to get the information the thief needs.
Luckily, there are ways we can protect our data such as the RFID-blocking technology which can be found in various items we carry when we travel such as wallets, bags, card cases, and passport holders. These items are readily available on the market, too.