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June 20, 2021 6 min read
We no longer lock up our valuables in safes but carry them in the form of slim cards in our pockets, which means our finances and personal information has another way of ending up in the wrong hands. Our information, identities, and accounts can be taken from us without us even knowing, without someone even touching us. How is this accomplished? With RFID skimming. But fear not, there’s a solution to RFID skimming, and we can’t wait to tell you about it.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. Even though it was invented in World War II to determine if planes flying in certain airspaces were friends or foes, RFID is one of the most up-to-date ways to safely store data and personal information.
Everything from your credit cards to key fobs for your new car uses RFID to communicate. But how does it work? Regardless of all the technical jargon, it’s pretty simple: RFID uses radio waves to identify people or objects. That’s it. It’s an extremely safe technology, but that doesn’t mean it’s impervious.
Radio Frequency Identification is an extremely helpful invention because it allows us to tap our credit cards touchlessly on the store screens to pay for our lunch, new cardigan, or favorite chai latte, making our transactions not only faster but safer. But it’s not just used in the consumer market.
Additionally, RFID is used in employee badges for employees to enter through secure locations, check-in for work, use their company database securely, and any other tasks that require confirmed employee identification. It makes the world a safer place, ensuring that the person accessing the sensitive information at work is who they say they are.
Passport cards also use RFID to confirm your identity when travelling to a foreign country. When you cross the border from Mexico or Canada on that sweet vacation you’ve been working all year for, the border patrol scans your RFID to make sure it’s you that’s entering the country. This means that they can tell if a criminal is entering the country and screen them before anything bad happens.
All in all, it makes everything more efficient and touchless, and safe, which is the way the world is progressing anyways. The future welcomes RFID.
Like all blessings, RFID has the potential to be used as a curse in the wrong hands. Let’s take the first example, Transactions, as a point of reference. Credit and debit cards use RFID to make touchless payments possible. The benefit of this, of course, is that people can’t “skim” your chip if they put the right device inside the card reader. When your card gets swiped or inserted on a reader that’s been modified by a hacker they will instantly have access to your information and can replicate a card with identical information and start purchasing all the clothes, food, and vacation YOU deserve.
Which is what makes RFID so great: It prevents hackers from stealing information through a card reader. But it also means that if someone can simulate your RFID they can fabricate your information. Think about it: someone walks right next to you or stands a few feet away in the store, and should they have the right technology and the wrong motivations they can steal your RFID and, just like skimming one of your cards in a reader, they can use the information to make all sorts of purchases. Obviously, we don’t want that.
Not only can a hacker steal your RFID from one of your personal credit or debit cards, but there may be even more pressing dangers. Let’s say you’re an employee at a company that requires you to have an employee ID to access your building. Companies in the tech and bio industries use employee identification to protect their buildings from intruders and to protect their databases from unwanted guests. But think about if – like the hacker in the grocery store – replicated your employee RFID for your company. Now, they wanted to, they could enter the building and it would tell the security thatyou entered the building.
Or if they wanted to log on to your company’s website to access the valuable and sensitive information your company has been tirelessly working on, it would alert the security thatyou were the one who logged on. Not only can the security not detect if someone has replicated your RFID, it compromises your company’s security, and brings your integrity into question, putting you in an extremely unfortunate situation, because there is no easy way to tell that it’s not you.
And with travel, RFID passport cards are at risk for being simulated. This means that a hacker could put you in a place where you’re not––even a country where you’re not if they’ve successfully copied your RFID information.
What can we do to protect our data and personal information? Is there any way to prevent RFID theft without becoming a tech nerd ourselves? One of the best ways to prevent the risk of RFID theft, is known as RFID Blocking. The way RFID Blocking works is by sewing a thick and flexible piece of metal into the frame of our wallets, one that is hardly noticed but blocks thieves from accessing the data available on your employee badge, credit cards or other sensitive item. The metal is constituted by stainless steel fibers and acts as a shield against any thief who wants to skim your data and steal your identity.
What’s great is that these wallets lookidenticalto a normal wallet. Instead of a bulky brick of a wallet that looks more like a carry-on item at the airport, our RFID Blocking wallets inhabit the space between fresh and sleek, and technologically adept, saving you from worrying if that stranger near you at the grocery store is trying get access to your digital information. Furthermore, an RFID blocking wallet isn’t a program you have to maintain or an app you have to constantly check on––it’s your wallet. It’s always with you, always protecting you.
On the market there are two popular options for wallets. On the one hand, some RFID Blocking wallets look like a metal container or flask. They have the pretense of technologically sophisticated but look far from technological or sophisticated. They are a burden to carry around, heavier and more obtuse than a normal wallet, with less versatility. On the other hand, you have designer wallets. These wallets can go anywhere from $300-$1000 and usually possess no RFID Blocking capability. It seems the more luxurious taste you have, the less technologically safe options you have.
At Andar, we want to make something you will have for the years to come, something which expresses your versatility and style, while not sacrificing the demands of the modern age. We want to make an RFID Blocking Walletthat carries on the stylistic legacy of the past’s wisdom and creates trends for the future. We have committed to only using full-grain leather, the highest quality leather on the market. Most companies will use a much lower-quality leather which is made of multiple different kinds of leather or sewn together like a ragamuffin quilt. Our wallets are constructed out of the less processed, more pure, full-grain leather which stands the test of time, weather, and hazard. We allow our leather to age with time, to become its own, and to become its own along with you.
Our RFID Blocking wallets flow out of these ideals. They come into their own with you and keep your identity safe. And the best part: you are not able to tell the difference between our RFID Blocking wallets and our normal ones (but, unfortunately for them, thieves will find out fast!). Check out the Diplomat, an RFID protected wallet. Sleek, robust, durable. Or the Duke, another RFID obstructing wallet that holds all your every-day-carries in one self-contained carry. Simplicity and elegance, with the added bonus of cyber-security.
In the end it comes down to you and your needs. But we’re here for you, designing an eclectic collection of the highest-quality RFID Blocking leather wallets to ensure your personal information is protected and your desire for elegance and style is satiated.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) | FDA
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): What is it?