Home / Tech News / Gift Guide: The best security and privacy tech to keep your friends safe

Gift Guide: The best security and privacy tech to keep your friends safe

Libertarian on lockdown? Privacy minded or paranoid?

Security is extra entrance of thoughts immediately than ever earlier than. If it’s not an organization vacuuming up your knowledge or nation states attempting to hack your electronic mail, it’s your individual “opsec” that wants a refresh.

For this vacation season, we have now greater than a dozen present concepts — from sensible devices that may make it more durable for spies to pay attention in, to data-saving ideas that may maintain your info secure — with out breaking the financial institution.

Passphrase cube

Coming up with passwords which can be straightforward to recollect is troublesome. The higher manner is to make use of an extended and extra memorable passphrase as a substitute. It’s as straightforward as rolling a handful of dice and utilizing phrase lists! You can choose up a five-pack of cube to generate random passphrases for just some bucks. Or, if you need mail-order dice-generated passphrases, you may all the time depend on teenage security prodigy Mira Modi to generate them for you for a small payment.

Price: $8.00 — $15.00
Available from: EFF | Diceware

A password supervisor subscription

Where are you going to retailer all these passphrases? A password supervisor, after all! Although most password managers are free, many include premium options that allow you to securely synchronize your passwords throughout your many units. Our favourite password supervisor is 1Password — which offers gift certificates. But, everybody may have their choice, and there are many password managers on the market to select from.

Price: from $4.99/month
Available from: 1Password | LastPass | Dashlane


You could be finished with beefing up your passwords, however now you’ll want to lock down your accounts to the max. Done proper, two-factor authentication is a serious barrier for hackers to beat. The strongest safety comes in the form of a Yubikey, a bodily, NFC-enabled USB stick that tells Google, Facebook, Twitter and every other supported service that it’s you and no person else. Yuibikeys are the gold commonplace of two-factor keys.

Price: from $45.00
Available from: Yubikey

A burner cellphone

Ever wanted to make a one-time cellphone name to a supply, an ally — and even an enemy — with out being simply tracked? A burner cellphone is your pal. Though they’re not excellent, burner telephones make it more difficult for the powers that be to trace you from place to position, or determine you in an unlimited sea of metadata and name data. Finding a superb burner cellphone additionally isn’t straightforward — it is dependent upon the sorts of threats that you simply face. An inexpensive, obtainable cellphone just like the ZTE Z233 is out there at many malls and inner-city pharmacies. You ought to pay in money to keep away from any monetary paper path. Just, don’t get too hooked up; the purpose of a burner cellphone is that you simply ditch it after its one and solely use. You may all the time use an app like Burner that generates a brief cellphone quantity, in case you don’t need to shell out cash.

Price: round $19.99
Available from: Target | Sears

Counter-surveillance infrared eyewear

Nothing beats surveillance cameras like invisible infrared mild — and clothes and accent makers know that greater than anybody. Pick up a pair of infrared-emitting spectacles that masks your face in CCTV-heavy cities. You may purchase “stealthwear” clothing that may enable you mix right into a crowd by deflecting warmth.

Price: $95.00 — $125.00
Available from: Reflectacles

Privacy screens

These skinny, sticky screens don’t appear to be a lot, however they’re very important in stopping visible hacking efforts — that’s when somebody seems over your shoulder and spies in your non-public info. Privacy screens block anybody taking a look at your show from outdoors your 60-degree viewing angle, so anybody subsequent to you will notice nothing however a darkened display.

Price: $18.83 — $42.85
Available from: Amazon (phone) | Amazon (laptop)

An encrypted USB storage drive

Encrypted detachable storage is tough to come back by. Nobody ought to rely fully on hardware-based encryption as a result of many drives use proprietary cryptography which can be filled with bugs. One encryption-supported flash drive stands above the remainder — an IronKey D300. The key makes use of signed firmware to forestall tampering, enforces sturdy passwords and is available in a number of storage sizes.

Price: $65.00 — $86.20
Available from: Kingston | Amazon


Chromebooks are light-weight and sensible, but vary from low-end disposable (virtually burner) units to the high-end and highly effective. These Chrome OS-powered behemoths are extremely safe — and succesful — even when they’re the underdog within the working system area. With the right tools and guides, Chromebooks could be significantly locked down and a decided defender towards even essentially the most highly effective adversary. There is a complete spectrum of units to select from — together with entry-level laptops, mid-range devices and high-end performance giants — a Chromebook for each want, with uncompromising safety.

Price: $179 — $499 — $999
Available from: Google

A webcam cowl

Almost everybody is aware of that hackers can goal your webcam and remotely spy on you. So get a webcam cowl! There are so many to select from, you could be as creative as you need — from sliding covers and customizable covers — even boutique homemade webcam covers from Etsy. Or, in case you’re on a funds, you may by no means go improper with a superb quaint Post-it word.

Price: from $4.99
Available from: Amazon | Etsy

A microphone blocker

Don’t overlook about your microphone! Microphone blockers work on most units with a 3.5mm headphone jack by tricking a laptop computer or a cellphone into considering that an exterior microphone is put in. Instead, the blocker picks up nothing greater than candy, candy silence. Most microphone blockers will match on a keyring and could be taken on the go, however anybody wanting to make use of a blocker on a more moderen iPhone or iPad will want a headphone adapter.

Price: $5.99 — $15.99
Available from: Amazon | StackSocial

A USB condom

You would possibly suppose it is a joke, however USB condoms are actual! These pocket-sized plugs are nice for isolating your units from alien or untrusted ports, permitting customers to energy up with out transmitting (or receiving) malicious knowledge. Most are USB-A, so any USB-C powered units — like MacBooks and newer iPads — can even want an adapter.

Price: $11.99
Available from: Amazon

Raspberry Pi mini-computer

These mini-computers may not look like a lot, however the Raspberry Pi revolution has taken the developer and hobbyist world by storm. They are perfect for newbies for studying primary coding, they’re extremely adaptable and expandable, permitting even the more advanced users to construct absolutely fledged methods — from light-weight gaming machines to media facilities, and safety methods to digital non-public community routers, and more! Nothing speaks to the security-minded geek than an open-source platform to play with.

Price: from $35.00
Available from: Raspberry Pi

An RFID blocking pockets

RFID hacking is the place somebody swipes your private knowledge or info from an NFC-enabled bank card and makes fraudulent purchases. RFID assaults aren’t a widespread issue however the risk from card skimming exists. The EFF has an honest RFID blocking pockets for a low value, whereas different, extra upscale wallets price much more.

Price: from $22.00 — 72.00
Available from: EFF | Ridge Wallet

Amazon Cloud Cam

You would possibly suppose, why would I want a wi-fi digital camera if I’m attempting to forestall surveillance? You’d be stunned at how helpful a digital camera could be. Take Amazon’s Cloud Cam — it’s essentially the most safe internet-connected digital camera obtainable for its value. Think of it as your eyes and ears if you’re away from residence — protecting your home and your issues secure. Or, even take it with you, and use in your resort room to prevent “evil maid” attacks. The digital camera works at nighttime, could be simply hooked as much as a Wi-Fi community, and its feed is remotely accessible utilizing your Amazon account — which, like different digital camera makers, could be secured with two-factor authentication. You may even put your Yubikey to good use!

Price: $119.99
Available from: Amazon

pfSense router

You may not have heard of a pfSense router earlier than, however these safety gateways are perfect for defending your Internet of Things functions. Many IoT units are insecure or buggy, and might result in a wider compromise of your property or company community. A pfSense router helps phase community site visitors to isolate your doubtlessly buggy units out of your manufacturing units. pfSense routers are straightforward to arrange and handle — so that you’ll by no means actually have to consider it once more.

Price: $249.99
Available from: Netgate

A lock-pick coaching package

For the fidgety sorts: a lock-pick coaching package is a superb present for anybody who needs to study the basics of lock selecting. Transparent padlocks work finest, as you may simply perceive how the innards work — and tips on how to defeat them. There are many obtainable, however you shouldn’t break the financial institution on a primary package — particularly for newbies.

Price: $30.00 — $59.95
Available from: Cool Material | Amazon

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