RF Security Tag Systems: What Are They And How Do They Work?

In a business setting where merchandise is directly displayed in front of customers, theft will always be one of your biggest security threats. Most retail business owners will go through the process of adding surveillance cameras and extra staff to handle inventory control threats, but there is one other way to keep problems with shoplifting at a minimum and that is with RF security services. If this is a new term for you, you are bound to want to know just what this is and how it can be a big help in your place of business. 

What exactly is an RF security system?

An RF (Radio Frequency) security system is an implemented machine at the exit points that picks up on small RF tags that are attached to your merchandise. The tags contain an RF chip that emits a low-frequency signal unless they are deactivated, which can easily be done at the register during checkout. With these tags attached to merchandise, a shoplifter will not be able to make it through the RF checkpoint at the exit without triggering an alarm. This makes it pretty difficult for them to hide something on their body, in their pocket, or in their purse without attracting attention when they leave the store.

Can't the RF tags simply be pulled off of the merchandise?

There are all kinds of RF tags that can be used for this security purpose, but most are designed to be extremely hard to remove without completely removing a product from the package. For example, you can get RF tags that are secured to product packaging with a high-grade adhesive. When someone attempts to remove the tag, they would have to actually remove the entire package. This can be quite difficult to do without being noticed by a store employee.  

Do you have to put RF tags of all merchandise?

Most business owners choose to place the tags only on the most valuable merchandise or merchandise that is easily concealed because it is small in size. For example, a few things you could tag in an electronics store would be:

  • Memory cards and flash drives
  • Cell phones and mobile devices 
  • Earbuds and Headphones

Many product manufacturers are now implementing their own RF tags that are installed inside of their product packages where they are not visible from the outside. These RF tags can usually be deactivated with the same equipment used with your current system.