Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

The Cheapest Wallet that Blocks RFID Signals

Pull out your credit card and flip it over. If the back is marked with the words “PayPass,” “Blink,” or the wi-fi symbol that serves as the universal symbol for wireless data or a few other obscure icons, it’s vulnerable to an uber-stealthy form of pickpocketing. Anyone with a Vivotech RFID credit card reader (available for less than $50 on eBay) can invisibly read your credit card information even if the card remains in your wallet, purse, or pocket. See for details about the problem.

Luckily, there is an easy way to block such hacking: keep your credit cards in a wallet that blocks RFID signals. You can find RFID-blocking wallets for sale from many vendors. Prices generally start at $20 and go up. Way up. Here is a cheaper solution: use an Altoids tin.

An Altoid tins effectively bocks RFID signals and costs a lot less than $20. Of course, you do have to empty the tin first. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what to do with the original contents of the Altoid tin.

I use an Altoid tin as a wallet frequently. If I don’t stuff it with too many credit cards, I can also add some “emergency cash” folded up neatly. However, I do add a rubber band or two wrapped around the tin to make sure it doesn’t open up at unexpected times.

Not elegant but it works well.


Categories: Credit Cards, Offline Privacy & Security

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