RFID Blocking Wallet is a Wallet designed to keep RFID devices safe and secure from unethical transactions. RFID uses Radio Frequency waves for an Identity Verification process. RFID blocking wallets block the radio frequency signals that are emitted from the RFID devices within the wallet like credit cards, passports, etc. These contents may have certain important information worth protecting from unsecure RFID readers.
Working of RFID Blocking Wallet
RFID wallets are designed as protective shields for RFID devices. Thus these wallets should be such that Radio Frequencies do not pass through the Wallet.
Radio frequency signals can be stopped by either water or metal as a medium. Blocking Wallet uses Metallic (mostly Aluminum) shield for impeding the Radio signals from RFID devices. Above this shielding layer, there is leather which covers up the wallet. Thus the wallet has a usual look though it has an increased weight.
Therefore the devices present inside the wallet are unable to communicate due to the shield. The wallet is durable and comfortable as well.
Need RFID Blocking Wallet
Blocking Wallets are a useful protection for RFID devices. There is an increasing usage of RFID technology in various important sectors like Credit cards, Passports, Military, etc. Thus it is imperative to have better protection for such security concerns. These Wallets provide just that.
These wallets deal with the following concerns:
- Ease of Readability – a RFID Tag is indifferent to all the Readers. The Reader is a portable device. Thus there is a security concern. Moreover RFID Tags can be read without the user knowing about it.
- Lack of Encryption in data streaming – While data is streamed between tags and reader, it can lead to breaches. The Device can be further corrupted by the breach.
- Jamming of RFID networks – RFID networks can be jammed rather easily. The Jamming is done using Energy at the right frequency. This may lead to some damage to RFID devices.
- RFID Tag and Reader Collisions – RFID readers’ and tags’ collision takes place when two or more reader and/or tags are there. This makes the tag and the reader unable to respond to simultaneous queries leading to chaos. Blocking Wallets can help the tags to respond only when needed.
- Tracking of Tags -Tags on some devices can be used to track the movement of the individual. These wallets can thereby help in avoiding such situations.
Useful Attributes of RFID Blocking Wallets
Blocking Wallets protect the RFID devices from Cloning, Identity Theft, Tracking and denial of service. Protection of RFID is not only related to privacy and security concerns. They also magnify the utility by providing service throughout.
RFID Blocking Wallets provide a single storage space for all the RFID devices to be kept safely. Thus they help in keeping all devices organized. The Wallets are having various slots for various RFID devices. They thus lead to an increase in the life time of the device.
These Wallets are comfortable and secure. Different Sizes of these wallets have been lately made available. These Wallets thereby prove more comfortable than wrapping devices with aluminum.
Wallets costs only around 20$, though the costs are variable. It claims to secure all the devices stored within completely. Thus these wallets are affordable and low profile.
Limitation of RFID Blocking Wallets
Some of the major Limitations relating Blocking Wallets are-
- Perfection Required – Wallets may not work properly. Some handheld readers may still be able to read the RFID device. If penetrated, the wallet can prove to be a single source for all information. Therefore it is vital that the Wallets are made perfectly.
- Immoral Use of Wallets – these can be used at wrong places by wrong people. For Example, a small military device under surveillance can be stolen under blocking wallet. A tag at the supermarket can be disabled leading to disabled tracking.
- Shortage of options – The Blocking Wallets are still in their primary stages of application. There is a need of perfecting the wallets for the users’ needs.
- Other Options may be easier – The Wallets’ function can be performed by an aluminum foil properly draped across a device. Though the aluminum foil may not be as reliable but it would be cheap and home-made.
- Outdone by single covers – The security can also be established through covers made uniquely for each of the devices. For example, RFID passports are usually kept in their special protective covers. It costs only around 15$. So rather than keeping it in the Wallet for safety, it can be carried around in its cover. This also means protection from pickpocketing and petty thefts.
- Not a Permanent Solution – As technology advances there will always be new ways to steal people’s personal information. Therefore blocking wallets may not be able to provide the required protection.
RFID blocking wallets which were first introduced in 2006 are much needed to secure RFID devices such as credit cards, etc. Though these wallets are in their primary stages, these are still used by thousands of people. These wallets are now designed by hoards of designing companies in developed countries. These are then sold as an alternative to the orthodox wallets.
Security and privacy issues relating RFID has always been an area of concern for the innovative RFID technology. Therefore Blocking Wallets may provide the much needed answer to the concern.