My parents leave this week for an international work trip. My mom is actually going to be gone for a month, visiting two very different continents. While helping her with preparations this past weekend, she asked me if she needed an RFID-blocking wallet. “What are they? Is there any point?” she asked me.
I didn’t really have an answer for her. I don’t have an RFID-blocking wallet, but I also don’t have any RFID-enabled credit cards. She had no idea if any of her cards have RFID technology, so her thoughts are to go ahead and get a RFID-blocking wallet as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For those who are unfamiliar with the technology, here is a quick explanation from Slate:
The concern is that some credit cards, passports, and driver’s licenses now come with embedded radio frequency identification chips. When activated by an RFID reader, these chips transmit certain types of information wirelessly, so that you can verify your identity or even make a purchase without swiping your card. The downside: Anyone with an RFID reader can activate those chips and pick up whatever information they’re designed to transmit.
Before this weekend, I didn’t know if my cards were RFID-enabled. A quick call to Chase confirmed that they are not. Some things I’ve read said RFID-blocking wallets are not necessary, while others have said they can be useful. I’m not an expert on this, but from what I gather it seems like if you don’t have an RFID credit card, you don’t need a wallet that blocks it. So readers, I’m turning to you.
Do you use an RFID-blocking wallet? Why or why not?
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