How to build a Faraday cage wallet

How to build a Faraday cage wallet

Summary: Worried about your contactless cards being duplicated? Don't be. This week, we test how to make a Faraday cage wallet for less than $10.

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TOPICS: Security
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Worried about your contactless cards being duplicated? Don't be. This week, we test how to make a Faraday cage wallet for less than $10.

With more and more access and transaction cards going contactless, it's OK to be a little paranoid and invest in a Faraday cage wallet.

A Faraday cage wallet serves to disperse electromagnetic fields across a metal surface to stop them from interacting with cards. A good one can cost anywhere between $30 and $200, which isn't so bad when you think about the retail cost of a standard folding leather wallet. But here at Nerdcam, we like to do things on the cheap, so today we'll look at how to make one for less than $10.

To build this Faraday wallet, we tried a modified version of a method developed by the geniuses over at Wired. The base of the wallet follows the Wired design, but our method splits off when we go on to create the card pouch.

You'll need:

  • Duct tape
  • Sticky tape
  • Aluminium foil
  • Scissors (ask your parents before using them, kids).

Cut six strips of duct tape, 16 centimetres in length, and lay them on top of each other to create two panels of three strips each.

From there, cut or fold two pieces of aluminium foil to stick to the duct-tape panels you've created. You'll want the aluminium foil to be about a centimetre smaller in area than the duct-tape panel. Place the aluminium foil onto the duct-tape panels, and secure the edges in place with sticky tape.

From there, sandwich the two pieces of duct tape together to create the wallet, and fold it in half.

Set your sandwich aside for a moment, and cut two more pieces of duct tape approximately 8 centimetres in length. This will be for the card pouch.

Line the card pouch with a strip of aluminium foil, using the same method we did to create the wallet section, and stick it onto one of the wallet's inside halves to create the card pouch.

Gently lift the top of the pouch you just stuck down to place your card into it.

From there, you can touch up the corners of the wallet, or apply your own designs to make it look a little nicer, and you're done.

Head to your nearest contactless swipe point to test your work. If the card is still able to be used, you haven't covered it completely with aluminium foil.

Alternatively, if you don't want to make your own wallet, you can always just line one particular card pouch in your existing wallet with a bi-fold strip of aluminium foil.

This method, however, requires a little more finesse than merely creating a foil-lined wallet, as the card needs to be completely covered, but still be easily accessible.

Watch the video for a hands-on how-to of both methods.

Topic: Security

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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3 comments
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  • Cool! A tinfoil wallet is the perfect fashion accessory to match my tinfoil hat ;)
    themox
  • This will work...merely for the fact that anyone with an RFID will look at a Gaffa tape made wallet and think "this person is so poor I would not want to steal their identity". Hopefully this was tongue in cheeck cos its just a bit too out there...as PMOXEY intimated perhaps the Tinfoil hat wearers were onto something (or not)
    Spectator-098e9
  • Or you can be geeky *and* stylish.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1127228691/the-humn-wallet-the-best-minimal-rfid-blocking-wal
    meski.oz