RFID Card Sleeves – Are They Necessary?
RFID card sleeves are essential in safeguarding your credit cards, identification cards, passports, and money cards from electronic theft. They are made of RFID blocking materials that prevent data transfer from the RFID card to an RFID reader.
If you’re a fan of using RFID-enabled cards, then you should consider using an RFID card sleeve to safeguard your personally identifiable data.
These cards come in different shapes and sizes to give you the liberty to choose one that suits your needs best. This all-inclusive guide highlights the need for an RFID card sleeve and why you should invest in one.
What is an RFID Card Sleeve?
An RFID card sleeve is designed like a pocket (or a pouch) where you can insert your RFID card. They come in different designs and sizes to fit an ordinary card, a passport, or any other RFID-enabled card.
The sleeves are made from unique materials that can block radio waves, thus preventing RFID readers from capturing data stored on RFID chips.
As such, possessing an RFID card sleeve adds another layer of security, making it hard for cybercriminals to skim your cards and obtain data without your authorization.
Features of an RFID Card Sleeve
For an RFID card sleeve to be useful, it should have several unique features for guaranteed efficacy in data protection. These features include:
- RFID Blocking Construction
Your RFID sleeve should be made of materials that have a unique ability to protect any RFID reader, no matter how sophisticated, from reading your data.
Some of the most commonly used materials include durable Tyvek fiberbond (for the exterior) and patented RFID shielding alloy lining the interior. These materials have been specially designed to block radio waves, thus preventing scanners from capturing your data.
- Slim to Fit in a Wallet
Nobody would be interested in a sleeve that is too big to fit in an ordinary wallet. As such, an ideal RFIC card sleeve should be slim enough to accommodate the card and fit perfectly in your purse.
The design should allow you to place your credit card into the RFID protection sleeve without a hassle. Additionally, it should leave an allowance to hold the card when removing it from the sleeve. This way, you’ll not struggle to remove it, which would otherwise cause immense delays and inconveniences.
- Elegance and Water-Resistant Designs
While this may appear like a non-issue to many, research shows that it is one of the most considered factors when shopping for a sleeve.
Many shoppers, especially women, would desire a stylish and elegant RFID card sleeve. On the other hand, men would prefer dull-colored sleeves. Others would want one decorated using their country’s flag colors.
Additionally, it would help if you get an RFID card sleeve that’s water-resistant. This way, you’ll be guaranteed longevity.
Uses of RFID Card Sleeves
RFID card sleeves can be used to protect several cards, including:
- Passport Cards. These traveling documents hold personally identifiable data. If your card is RFID-enabled, criminals can use scanners to capture your identifiers. You should use an RFID card sleeve to block any attempt to acquire your data fraudulently in such cases. Always ensure that the sleeve is easy-to-use to prevent causing delays and inconveniences to other passengers.
- Credit Cards. Credit cards contain crucial data that can be used for financial crimes—as such, protecting it from criminals should be top of your priorities. To achieve this, you can use an RFID card sleeve that fits your card appropriately.
- Identification Cards. Many organizations are using proximity cards to identify their employees. These cards have a unique identification number specific to a given individual. Hackers can scan the card to get this number and make a clone RFID card to access restricted areas. To prevent this, you should use an RFID card sleeve to block radio waves, thus ensuring that the criminals have no access to your data.
Besides the three primary uses, you can use an RFID card sleeve to protect any RFID-enabled card from being skimmed.
Is an RFID Card Sleeve Necessary?
Most newly issued credit cards contain embedded RFID chips designed to transmit information electronically using electromagnetic waves. While this is a positive development, it comes with a unique challenge for the users.
Tech criminals can skim the cardholder data. All they will need to get data from your card is an RFID scanner that can excite the RFID chip to release waves and transmit data to the RFID reader.
This phenomenon is particularly a concern since criminals do not need direct contact with the cardholder to obtain the data. In some instances, these tech criminals can skim the data while standing up to 10 feet away, depending on the strength of the RFID reader they are using.
Once they obtain the data, the criminals can then use the data at their discretion. They can even copy the data to a blank RFID chip and clone your cards. This electronic pickpocketing is harmful and can result in immense losses if you do not mitigate it.