Give the Gift of Security
I am always looking to buy my friends and family things they will find useful, but likely wouldn’t buy themselves. That got me thinking.
How many people spend money on personal security? Not many, making it a great area to look for gifts.
Here are some gift ideas I found on my gift hunt this year.
Password Manager Subscription
We know that the number one way to stay safe online is to have strong unique passwords for all the accounts we have. This is not an easy task when the average American has over 130 different accounts online. The only way to do this securely is with a password manager.
Some password managers, like LastPass, have a free tier that people can use, but it doesn’t allow password sharing with multiple users, advanced multi-factor, or emergency access.
Gifting a person or a family with a paid subscription to LastPass or 1Password helps them keep their entire family secure. They also have features that will let you know if any of the online accounts you use have had a data breach and when you should change your password.
- $30 to $45 USD for a one year personal subscription
- $50 to $75 USD for a one year family subscription
The Best Password Managers for 2020
If you use weak passwords (or the same one everywhere) to secure your online accounts, you are only making it easier…
The only way to fully ensure you and your family are not being watched while at your computer is to cover the webcam. There is an easy solution for that, webcam covers! Fortunately, they can be found almost anywhere at affordable prices.
You can also get covers for your tablet or phone cameras. Ensure when you are looking at webcam covers that they will fit your device. For some macs you need to get an ultra thin cover so that when you close your laptop it doesn’t crack your screen.
Best Webcam Covers to Safeguard Your Privacy
Webcams can be handy tools for improving your productivity and generally making it easier for you to communicate with…
Price Range: $4 - $40 USD
RFID Blocking Wallet
RFID is the technology that you use at the store to “tap” your card for payment. RFID hacking can happen when someone reads your personal data or information from your RFID enabled cards while they’re still in your wallet or purse. RFID blocking wallets prevent the NFC radio waves from accessing your credit cards keeping them safe from this kind of attack.
Many passports also have an NFC component, so getting an RFID passport holder is also a great idea.
There is a wide range of choices here from economic to luxurious.
Price Range: $15 + USD
For the professional friend or family member here are a few things to help make their devices and apps more secure.
Hardware Key for Two Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is the best protection against your accounts being hacked. The simplest form of two factor authentication uses SMS to send a code to your phone. Recent research shows that it isn’t hard to intercept these messages enabling hackers to get access to your account. Using an authentication app like Google Authenticator is a better solution, but the best solution is a physical token like YubiKey. In this case the only way a hacker can sign in as you is if they have your physical key.
With both SMS and an authenticator app you need to go to your phone to authorize access to an account after you have entered the password. With a physical token after the password is entered you insert the physical key to provide the second form of authentication.
The best hardware security keys for two-factor authentication
We've rounded up eight different security keys to try to find one suitable for most users and best for everyone from…
But what happens if you lose the physical authentication key? First when setting up two factor authentication you can often get a set of long lasting codes to unlock your account if you lose your two factor authentication. The best placer to store these is in the notes of the entry for that account in your password manager. This will allow easy recovery of the account if you lose your physical key.
What to Do if You Lose a U2F Key
U2F is widely regarded as the best way to secure your important accounts since it relies on access to a physical key…
Price Range: $45 to $75 USD
A common way passwords are stolen is by shoulder surfing. This means a person is physically looking over your shoulder when you type in your password. Getting a privacy screen for your laptop, tablet, or phone goes a long way in preventing that.
Privacy screens can also help keep your company’s confidential data confidential. I am surprised by the number of times I have been on a plane or in a coffee shop and had the ability to fully read confidential information on the laptop of the person beside or in front of me.
Privacy screens can be purchased for monitors, laptops, tablets, and phones. Many people already buy a screen protector for their phones to protect them from scratches. Replacing the screen protector with a privacy screen will help keep your phone and your data safe.
Price Range: $15 to $70 dollars USD depending on the size of the screen.
A USB Condom
Nope, this is not a joke! It’s a real thing.
A USB condom is a device that goes between the USB port on the device and the USB cable to prevent any data being stolen off of the device, or malware from being installed.
The USB Condom limits the functionality of the USB cable to power only. This way you won’t have worry about getting malware when charging your phone or laptop in a public place. This makes them ideal to use when you are traveling, plugging in at your local coffee shop, or using someone else’s computer to charge your phone. You don’t know if they have accidentally downloaded malware that could then get transferred to your phone.
The USB Condom is the equivalent of a mask for your phone. Putting this on reduces the chances of getting malware, just like putting on a mask reduces your chances of getting COVID19.
Does Your Phone Charger Need A 'USB Condom' When You Travel?
Anyone who travels regularly knows the joy of finding a free power outlet where you can revive a dying phone. But in…
Price Range: $15 to $45 USD
Now that you have your professional and non-professional family and friends sorted out, what do you get the Security Expert in your family?
Might I suggest a cool mug or t-shirt?