This Christmas, you shouldn’t plump for socks, chocolates, or DVDs. Don’t wait around
for Black Friday bargains
either. Get something that will prove useful!
7 Ways To Protect Yourself And Not Get Scammed On Black Friday
7 Ways To Protect Yourself And Not Get Scammed On Black Friday With Black Friday swiftly followed by Cyber Monday, then Christmas, you're the perfect target for scammers. Use these simple, but effective tips to protect yourself from scams and online fraud.
Maybe you know someone you’d like to encourage to be more security-conscious. Or perhaps a friend or family member is already concerned about their own privacy.
They’ve already got tin foil (albeit for the turkey, not to use as a hat), so what else should you get for them? We have a few suggestions.
1. No Place to Hide
Who doesn’t love unwrapping a weighty tome on Christmas morning?
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State No Place to Hide Edward Snowden the NSA and the U S Surveillance State
Buy Now At Amazon $6.38
We all know the story of Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower who leaked the extent to which the National Security Agency (NSA) is keeping tabs on citizens. These
revelations were made in 2013
, and yet they remain relevant. The
What Is PRISM? Everything You Need to Know
What Is PRISM? Everything You Need to Know The National Security Agency in the US has access to whatever data you're storing with US service providers like Google Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook. They're also likely monitoring most of the traffic flowing across the...
ramifications of PRISM
persist, inciting continuous debate about mass surveillance.
Can You Escape Internet Surveillance Programs Like PRISM?
Can You Escape Internet Surveillance Programs Like PRISM? Ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on PRISM, the NSA's no longer secret surveillance program, we know one thing with certainty: nothing that happens online can be considered private. Can you really escape the...
Snowden’s disclosure is so important that
he’s still a controversial figure
Hero or Villain? NSA Moderates Its Stance on Snowden
Hero or Villain? NSA Moderates Its Stance on Snowden Whistleblower Edward Snowden and the NSA's John DeLong appeared on the schedule for a symposium. While there was no debate, it seems the NSA no longer paints Snowden as a traitor. What's changed?
But there’s still a lot to learn, and that’s where this book comes in. It’s written by Glenn Greenwald, who took an 11-day journey to Hong Kong to meet Snowden (who was then just an anonymous source) and report what he’d found.
It’s an exceptional piece of work: eye-opening, compulsive, and definitive. Greenwald doesn’t recount all the stuff you’ve read about before — this is the inside story, intricate and intimate. An essential gift for anyone
worried about their own privacy
Snowden's on Twitter, Here Are 7 More Privacy Advocates to Follow
Snowden's on Twitter, Here Are 7 More Privacy Advocates to Follow Snowden is hardly the only privacy advocate on Twitter, or the world's leading authority on the subject. The social network has several prominent voices who care about user data and how to protect it.
2. RFID Wallet
Due to concerns over security, you can turn down the offer of contactless payment on debit and credit cards. Nonetheless, fewer people are using their PINs anymore.
Image Credit: thomas_wiegold via Flickr
contactless is easy
. Yes, there’s a daily price limit which caps spending this way. No, these don’t make you feel any better if you’re victim to fraud.
Are Contactless Payment Systems A Threat To Your Finances?
Are Contactless Payment Systems A Threat To Your Finances? Contactless payments have become more popular, but are they secure? What threats surround this new financial fad? More importantly, should you sign up?
Criminals can take
payment from contactless cards
. Indeed, warnings are occasionally issued on social media about thieves preying on users of packed trains and the subway. You can do something about it, however.
5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Contactless Payment Scams
5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Contactless Payment Scams Contactless payment fraud continues to rise. Figures from the U.K. show a 150 percent increase in just one year, with $9 million stolen last year. What can you do to avoid becoming a victim yourself?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wallets
block the wireless signals interacting between a card terminal and the card.
What Are RFID-Blocking Wallets & Which Should You Buy?
What Are RFID-Blocking Wallets & Which Should You Buy? If you knew that someone could read your credit cards, passport, and even driver's license without actually having to swipe them, would you take steps to guard against it?
ROCO Minimalist Aluminum Slim Wallet RFID BLOCKING Money Clip - No.2 (Black)
ROCO Minimalist Aluminum Slim Wallet RFID BLOCKING Money Clip - No.2 (Black) IMPROVED VERSION ✔ With wider band to provide easy use of our unique minimal wallet
Buy Now At Amazon $14.95
They appear to be a stocking filler, but come with various price tags. Even cheap ones should work, although simple aluminium sleeves don’t look impressive under the Christmas tree.
Instead, go for a middle-of-the-range option. Aim to spend between $15 and $30. These are typically sturdy items that’ll hold numerous cards but won’t break the bank.
3. SpotCam Sense Camera
This has a high-end price point, but is certainly worth it.
Aposonic SpotCam Sense - 1080P Wireless Video Monitoring Surveillance Camera with 24-Hour Free Cloud Continuous Recording (White)
Aposonic SpotCam Sense - 1080P Wireless Video Monitoring Surveillance Camera with 24-Hour Free Cloud Continuous Recording (White) 24 Hours FULL-TIME continuous cloud video recording FREE FOREVER. Wi-Fi Connectivity 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz.
Buy Now At Amazon $139.99
Internet Protocol (IP) Cameras are
all about peace of mind
. They can be used for security reasons or as baby monitors. These are digital video recording devices that generally
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connect to your smartphone
or device to offer 24/7 surveillance. Some allow you extra remote control and will further track smart home accessories.
5 Useful Things You Can Do With Your Phone Even When It's Miles Away
5 Useful Things You Can Do With Your Phone Even When It's Miles Away You can play with it all you want, just don't touch it. Your phone that is.
it’s CCTV for a home
or private workplace.
6 Creative Uses for Wireless Surveillance Cameras in Your Home
6 Creative Uses for Wireless Surveillance Cameras in Your Home Security cameras are useful for more than just surveillance. With a dash of creativity and elbow grease, you can kick your quality of life up a notch with these atypical ideas for your security cameras.
We were particularly impressed
with the SpotCam Sense Pro
SpotCam Sense Pro Review (and Giveaway)
SpotCam Sense Pro Review (and Giveaway) Unlike its competitors, the SpotCam Sense offers a full days worth of cloud storage, for free, forever. Easy to set up, it offers remote viewing, motion and scheduled recording, and even some smart home features.
“Easy to set up on mobile, the SpotCam Sense Pro is the useful smart home security camera solution, complete with two-way audio, full HD streaming, and SSL encryption.”
Cheaper alternatives are available, so you need to ask yourself which is worth its RRP. Consider what the recipient will want: Where will they
place the camera
? What scope will be needed? Does it need to be waterproof?
5 Dangers to Consider When Pointing Your Home Security Cameras
5 Dangers to Consider When Pointing Your Home Security Cameras It is important to carefully consider where you position your cameras, and what parts of your home you point them at. Keeping things secure is important, but so is maintaining your privacy.
The essential things to look out for are: whether it works in the dark, what resolution the video is recorded and streamed at, and if it has audio capabilities.
4. WALI Dummy CCTV
Not too sure whether your family member of friend will like a camera keeping score of proceedings all the time? Opt for a fake CCTV system instead!
WALI 4 Pack Santa Camera Dummy Fake Security CCTV Dome Camera with Flashing Red LED Light with Warning Security Alert Sticker Decals
WALI 4 Pack Santa Camera Dummy Fake Security CCTV Dome Camera with Flashing Red LED Light with Warning Security Alert Sticker Decals Features: The inexpensive solution for security theft problems with high resemblance to real cameras and activation light. No motorized pan movement. With elegant and contemporary design, this camera is very popular.
Buy Now At Amazon $11.99 Dummy cameras are a deterrent
to your average criminal. They won’t be keen to have their mugshots taken. Even if some suspect they’re fake, they’ll have to risk getting up close to check it out for sure.
Going on Vacation? 7 Ways to Secure Your Home For Under $30
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Bulkier fake CCTV units can stick out like a sore thumb, but smaller dome-shaped facsimiles do the job brilliantly.
You can typically rely on WALI’s products, and this four-pack of dummy cameras is a substantial present that’s a surprisingly good price. They’ll certainly come in handy around most homes, and because they’ve got a flashing LED, they look real.
As an added stocking filler, we suggest batteries!
5. Litom Solar Lights Solar lights are fantastic
: not only are you
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utilizing the sun’s power
but you’re also improving safety and security. They come in a vast array of variations, and are available everywhere, but for Christmas, we recommend a motion detector solar light.
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These simply light up an area whenever something moves within its radius. Intruders are instantly spotlighted, and homeowners are alerted that there’s someone on their property. If whoever you’re buying for has a pond or swimming pool, lights are vital to make sure no one has an accident at night.
Litom Solar Lights Outdoor, Wireless 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar Lights with Wide Lighting Area, Easy Install Waterproof Security Lights for Front Door, Back Yard, Driveway, Garage
Litom Solar Lights Outdoor, Wireless 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar Lights with Wide Lighting Area, Easy Install Waterproof Security Lights for Front Door, Back Yard, Driveway, Garage 【Why Choose LITOM】 LITOM IP65 Waterproof Solar Lights Outdoor, which have passed the FCC certification and UL test, may be the most reliable solar light you ever get. More than 5 millions people's life have been lighted up by LITOM. Let's join us now!
Buy Now At Amazon $17.99
Litom’s a solid make. These are deceptively small considering the amount of light they give off. They’re cheap too, but if
the recipient places them strategically
at a doorway or garage, effective enough to deter would-be criminals.
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How You Can Have Outdoor Lighting Without Any Wiring Required Dealing with wiring for outdoor lighting can be an enormous headache, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. Thankfully, there are great wireless outdoor lighting solutions to fit any budget or design.
They do have a range of 26 feet, however, so we advise against installing them anywhere near a busy walkway.
Everybody needs a shredder. No, more than that — everybody needs a
Swingline Paper Shredder, Junk Mail, 12 Sheet Capacity, Super Cross-Cut, 1 User, Personal Duo, Black (1757394)
Swingline Paper Shredder, Junk Mail, 12 Sheet Capacity, Super Cross-Cut, 1 User, Personal Duo, Black (1757394) Paper shredder quickly shreds up to 12 sheets (including junk mail, paper clips and staples) and is compact in size and ideal for personal use
Buy Now At Amazon $69.00
Common shredders were fine back in the 1980s, but these days? Useless. They’re about as secure as leaving the keys in your car door. That’s because fraudsters aren’t above piecing together strips of important documents: it might take time, but the money they can make from your personal details outweighs that.
Cross-cut shredders, however, cut pieces diagonally, rendering anything you put in virtually unreadable.
In this age of hacking and ransomware, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a good old shredder. Because plenty of
important things need cutting up
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Loads are available, so what should you look out for? It depends on your price range, but a decent one will be at least $40. AmazonBasics models are okay, but would such a gift tell people you’re skimping a bit? Mind you, you can spend $100 on an AmazonBasics one, so let’s not belittle the brand.
Image Credit: solarnu via Flickr
Credit card slots are ideal, but some further chop up CDs — more infrequently used, of course, but this is a present to last! Typically, the finer a shredder will cut, the better. Also consider measurements: will this be
used in a workplace environment
or be kept at home, and how does this affect the size you’re considering?
Buying A Paper Shredder For Your Home Office
Buying A Paper Shredder For Your Home Office
7. VPN Router
This could be the priciest item on the list, so you’ll want to save it for someone especially dear to you, or as a family gift. But as ever, it depends on which model you go for.
Roqos Core -Teal- Next Generation, Intrusion Prevention, Parental Controls, Firewall WiFi VPN Router - Protect Your Kids, Devices From Malware, Hackers, Bad Sites - Replace Your Router Or Plug Into It
Roqos Core -Teal- Next Generation, Intrusion Prevention, Parental Controls, Firewall WiFi VPN Router - Protect Your Kids, Devices From Malware, Hackers, Bad Sites - Replace Your Router Or Plug Into It VPN IN for secure encrypted Internet at public Wi-Fis, VPN OUT for connecting whole house to a Global Roqos server, or to a VPN service, GUEST VPN for friends & family. Exclude devices from VPN for streaming shows blocking VPN. Dynamic DNS
Buy Now At Amazon $299.00
It’ll also require a lot of research.
Virtual private networks (VPN)
afford a solid level of security by encrypting data sent between a computer and a website. Anyone who can intercept details sent on that connection cannot read it anyway. There are
What A VPN Tunnel Is & How To Set One Up
What A VPN Tunnel Is & How To Set One Up
many VPN services available
, including for free
The Best VPN Services
The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly.
via the Opera browser
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VPN routers give a whole household
this level of security
. No need for individual installation on each device. Anything connecting to this router will use encryption. The receiver just needs to set it up and then everyone can browse the internet, hassle-free… in theory.
4 Reasons to Always Use a VPN When You're Online
4 Reasons to Always Use a VPN When You're Online VPNs (virtual private networks) are becoming more popular. It's not always clear exactly why you should be using one though. Here's why you should use one whenever you go online.
High-end models should offer more advantages like being able to turn off the VPN to
access sites that won’t work
with it on. Some additionally have ad-blockers, parental controls, and usage records.
Which VPNs Still Work With Netflix?
Which VPNs Still Work With Netflix? Netflix is trying to stop people accessing its service through VPNs, but a handful of VPNs are managing to stay one step ahead of the streaming giant. Read on to find out which ones...
Shop around. Roqos is a dependable brand, and yet cheaper makes might also catch your eye. Shopping for routers should be a rare occurrence, so ask yourself whether it’s worth spending a bit more to achieve some longevity. And of course, are the recipients worth it? (Don’t answer that.)
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
It’s always the right time to be thinking about security. Cybercriminals don’t take the festive season off, and neither should you.
Image Credit: Kevin Dooley via Flickr
Saying that, buying one of the gifts suggested above affords the receiver a bit of time to relax — untroubled by thoughts of hackers, burglars, and miscellaneous criminals. You can probably let Santa in, but all other intruders should be left out.
Which other items are great gifts for anyone worried about privacy? What’s the worst security threat facing us as we head into the New Year? And how are you making sure you and your family will be enjoying the Christmas period? Tell us in the comments section below!