Here’s what you learned in New York, as I did in the 80’s and 90’s, and dealt with it. Being vigilant required keeping your eyes open and having fast reflexes. These “analog” preventative measures ensured that no one is coming in an ATM or was waiting to accost you just as you exited. Today’s digital world has changed all that – it can steal your identity over the Internet easier than can be imaged. But one of the worst problems comes from our pockets. They are a great convenience when it comes to RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. So what can we do with these RFID-enabled cards? Get a wallet that shields against RFID, is what. This is a wall-to-wall wallet made with SLIMMY Wallet Original with RFID shielding.
The SLIMMY wallet (pronounced thin-ee) at first glance seems to be just a half-size men’s wallet that is, well, slim as its name suggests. And thanks to its compact construction and the value of its properties, the handmade leather wallet adapts easily to a hip pocket before the body moves it during the day. There are three compartments, but it is the center that will contain an RFID-compatible card. This is because the central compartment, unlike those on each side, is protected against radio waves, blocking any transmission of the card. To cancel it, simply place the card in one of the other two pockets (or remove it to use it, then put it back in place).
Here is the rationale for RFID: a passive radio transmitter embedded in a chip is embedded in a card, for example, which says “PayPass” as a MasterCard. Such a card should not be slipped through a slot on a card reader to be used; just touch it to an RFID-compatible card reader (usually a momentary friction is required). The chip on the card transfers the information necessary for the transaction (such as the card number, the name of the person, the expiry date, etc.) and therefore requires little effort. RFID also works at a very short distance (although there have been disputes about this in any case), so security seems assured, as it can be used from inside a wallet or ‘a wallet. That is, unless someone has a card reader designed to “capture” this information from an RFID-compatible card that is at hand. Since these readers are inexpensive and easily assembled from kits, this seems interesting for those looking for counterfeit cards or other harmful uses. After all, there are 35 million RFID cards available. And even if the chances of this happening are in your favor – if there is someone with a card reader standing behind you while you are queuing, that’s one more time in my book.
So, since I am all about making things more difficult for those seeking a free exit from my back, I emptied my wallet and transferred some of the content to SLIMMY (since there are only three compartments, I separated them to hold paper money in one, credit cards and ID cards as my driver’s license in the middle and others last). Testing the RFID protection of SLIMMY was as easy as going to a merchant whose RFID reader I used several times before. I first held a RFID-compatible card a few inches from the reader and saw that it was supported. I then placed the card in the SLIMMY’s compartment which held my money and held the wallet and again the card was registered. The last test made me move the card to the central pocket, where I then held the wallet against the reader and ran it in vain. For all practical reasons, the card was actually invisible to the card reader. Nada. Inert. And even if the central compartment is rigid, the wallet itself is flexible and lightweight. You have to take the extremes of what Koyono says can be put – 15 bills, 8 plastic cards, 5 receipts, 2 business cards – with a grain of salt because YMMV (your mileage may vary) and probably will.
Bottom line: The SLIMMY Original Wallet with RFID shielding will not replace common sense when it comes to protecting against data theft / identity theft, but it will prevent the theft of RFID. Plus, it looks a lot better out of a pocket than a foil wallet made from duct tape. $ 42.00 gives you security and style.