- February 9th, 2016
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Online Safety, PC security
Valentine’s Day is the quintessential time to show the one you love your appreciation. And what says “You mean so much to me” more than a box of chocolates? Or a bottle of wine? Boring, overdone, and if you think about it, these typical gifts aren’t a very personal way to show you care. If you’re looking for a creative, yet practical way to show your appreciation, why not get your special somebody something that could actually make their lives better and more secure?
No, we aren’t suggesting to buy your significant other a small underground bunker or a body guard to keep away from any potential danger – that would be, well, extreme. But think about this – in 2014, identity fraud and breaches cost some 12.7 million Americans $16 billion. And countless people lost time, money and information to hacks and viruses that could have been prevented. Wouldn’t you like to make sure your true love is in the clear? To that end, we present to you some security-minded Valentine’s Day gift ideas that will let your sweetheart know you really care.
Subscription to a Password Manager
We all know how frustrating it is to come up with and remember strong passwords. And we all know how maddening it can be to have to recreate passwords because we forgot the first one we had because it was too darn complicated. But using strong and unique passwords is one of your best defenses against malicious hackers. That’s where passwords managers come in. Password managers make it easy to create and store passwords in a vault – which means you don’t really need to remember anything other than the main password to your vault (oh, and your significant other’s birthday, but alas, your password manager can’t do that for you.)
Managers like LastPass, Dashlane and StickPassword have lots of nifty features and even the free versions will make your valentine’s life more streamlined (in terms of passwords, anyway). Some free ones include features like browser integration, which automatically captures passwords as you enter them, and most can generate those strong and unique passwords. Others allow you to sync your passwords across devices. The best paid managers allow for web form fill-in’s as well. Make sure to use one that requires two-factor authentication to log on and
Password managers take the guesswork out of creating solid passwords, making at least one thing in this crazy world less complicated for the one you love.
Iron Key USB
Does your sweetie pie work remotely from home? Or use the same device for work and play? In 2015, 74% of organizations allowed, or were planning on allowing their employees to bring their own devices to work. BYOD, as the practice of using one’s own device for work purposes is called, is only growing. Numerous studies have found that using one’s own devices makes workers more dedicated and engaged with their work, regardless of location – and companies love that (though significant others tend to not be as “into it” as their bosses are, for some reason…).
The inherent problem with using your own devices, like mobiles and storage devices, for work purposes is that while corporations function with super-tight security measures in place, most individuals aren’t quite so careful. And think about it this way – that thumb drive, that’s the size of well, your thumb, can hold not only pictures from your past barbeque and family hiking trip, but your dearest might just use it to store work documents, making it very valuable to hackers and competitors alike.
To keep that sensitive information out of the wrong hands, store documents on the IronKey F200 flash drive. By default, the drive works in biometric-only mode, requiring something like the users fingerprint to access files. It provides military-grade encryption and you can also enable two-factor authentication. The drive can even be set to erase itself after a predetermined number of failed login attempts.
So if your valentine happens to moonlight as another James Bond or Susan Cooper, this ironclad USB is the perfect gift.
Subscription to Anti-Virus Software
You probably already know how important it is to run a top-notch anti-virus program and chances are your love does, too. But considering that not all anti-virus programs function in the same way, it’s worth it to think about your program of choice before installing just any old thing.
You want to make sure your sweetheart’s information (and your own!) is set up to be as safe as possible so you’ll need a program that protects you from all kinds of threats, not only known legacy threats like most typical anti-virus products do. Zone Alarm Extreme Security 2016 protects your important information from known and unknown threats, keeps you guarded against malicious attachments and links, and even backs up your information. The identity protection feature protects you from phishing attacks and identity fraud, and the advanced firewall monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic, giving you everything you need to build your strongest defense against intruders.
The gift of true security is one of the most powerful ways to show someone you really appreciate them. Now is the perfect time to purchase a subscription to ZoneAlarm’s Extreme Security 2016 for your loved one to make sure he or she is protected.
If your better half is a fitness freak, then a fitness tracker is a must have. But it’s all too easy to forget that fitness trackers, like any other wearables, can pose real concerns when it comes to security. In the past, we have mentioned that with the rise of “smart” gadgets, comes threats in items that were previously “dumb” – but at least when they were dumb, they were secure. Thanks to IoT, everything from our coffee makers to our doorbells can be compromised and it’s no different with fitness trackers.
This past July the Independent AV-Test Institute conducted a study of the nine most popular fitness bands and found that most were shockingly laxed in terms of security. Some made it super-easy to connect with unauthorized smartphones, others had weak privacy policies and others, such as the popular FitBit Charge, were guilty of practically handing over information on a silver platter to anyone who asked due to the lack of encryption. Yikes.
The uproar that followed the study was loud and furious, from insurance providers to researchers, begging for better, tighter security measures to be implemented. Shockingly, some manufacturers heard their cries and things are starting to turn around in the fitness tracker arena. A recent study conducted by the research firm Open Effects found that the Fitbit Charge HR is now one of the most secure trackers available along with the Apple Watch, the Mio Fuse and the Intel Basis. This new generation of trackers are using HTTPS to transmit information to their mobile apps and are taking the proper steps to prevent data tampering, among other security precautions.
So if fitness is your beau’s thing, the Apple Watch, FitBit Charge HR or the Mio Fuse are all truly smart choices.
Now go treat your special somebody to a nice romantic dinner, perhaps accompanied by a violin, overlooking a sparkling lake. Just remind them to change their password from Iloveyou21 (one of the most common passwords of all time) to something more complicated with the help of their newly minted password manager when they get home.
What would you like to receive as a Valentine’s Day gift?