Gift Guide: The best security and privacy tech to keep your friends safe
Libertarian on lockdown? Privacy minded or paranoid?
Security is more front of mind today than ever befroe. If it’s not a company vacuuming up your data or nation states trying to hack your email, it’s your own “opsec” that needs a refresh.
For this holiday season, we have over a dozen gift ideas — from practical gadgets that will make it harder for spies to listen in, and data-saving tips that will keep your information safe — without breaking the bank.
Coming up with passwords that are easy to remember is difficult. The better way is to use a longer and more memorable passphrase instead. It’s as easy as rolling
A password manager subscription
Where are you going to store all those passphrases? A password manager, of course! Although most password managers are free, many come with premium features that let you securely synchronize your passwords across your many devices. Our favorite password manager is
You might be done with your passwords, but now need to lock down your accounts to the max. Done right, two-factor authentication is a major barrier for hackers to beat. The strongest protection comes
Price: from $45.00
A burner phone
Ever needed to make a one-time phone call to a source, an ally — or even an enemy — without being easily tracked? A burner phone is your friend. Though they’re not perfect, burner phones make
Counter-surveillance infrared eyewear
Nothing beats surveillance cameras like invisible infrared light — andlothing and accessory makers know that more than anyone. Pick up a pair of infrared-emitting spectacles that mask your face in CCTV-heavy cities. You can also buy
Price: $95.00 — $125.00
These thin, sticky screens don’t look like much, but they are vital in preventing visual hacking efforts — that’s when someone looks over your shoulder and spies on your private information. Privacy screens block anyone looking at your display from outside your 60-degree viewing angle, so anyone sat next to you will see nothing but a darkened screen.
An encrypted USB storage drive
Encrypted removable storage is hard to come by. Nobody should rely entire on hardware-based encryption because
Chromebooks are lightweight and practical, yet range from low-end disposable (almost burner) devices to the high-end and powerful. These
Price: $179 — $499 — $999
A webcam cover
Almost everyone knows that hackers can target your webcam and remotely spy on you. So get a webcam cover! There are so many to choose from, you can be as inventive as you want — from
A microphone blocker
Don’t forget about your microphone! Microphone blockers work on most devices with a 3.5mm headphone jack by tricking a laptop or a phone into thinking that an external microphone is installed. Instead, the blocker picks up nothing more than sweet, sweet silence. Most microphone blockers will fit on a keyring and can be taken on the go, but anyone wanting to use a blocker on a newer iPhone or iPad will need a headphone adapter.
A USB condom
You might think this is a joke, but USB condoms are real! These
Raspberry Pi mini-computer
These mini-computers might not seem like much, but the Raspberry Pi revolution has taken the developer and hobbyist world by storm. They are ideal for beginners for learning basic coding, they’re highly adaptable and expandable, allowing
Price: from $35.00
An RFID blocking wallet
RFID hacking is where someone swipes your personal data or information from an NFC-enabled credit card and make fraudulent purchases. RFID attacks
Amazon Cloud Cam
You might think, why would I need a wireless camera if I’m trying to prevent surveillance? You’d be surprised at how useful a camera can be. Take Amazon’s Cloud Cam — it’s the most secure internet-connected camera available for its price. Think of it as your eyes and ears when you’re away from home — keeping your house and your things safe. Or, even take it with you, and use in your hotel room to
You might not have heard of a pfSense router before, but these security gateways are ideal for protecting your Internet of Things applications. Many IoT devices are insecure or buggy, and can lead to a wider compromise of your home or corporate network. A pfSense router helps segment network traffic to isolate your potentially buggy devices from your production devices. pfSense routers are easy to set up and manage — so you’ll never really have to think about it again.
A lock-pick training kit
For the fidgety types: a lock-pick training kit is a great gift for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of lock picking. Transparent padlocks work best, as you can easily understand how the innards work — and how to defeat them. There are many available, but you shouldn’t break the bank on a basic kit — especially for beginners.