8 Christmas gifts to protect your loved ones

Today, many of us are now aware that there are digital risks and that the protection of our personal data is especially important.

Many of us now know that our personal data is of great value not only to advertisers and data brokers (much of the data collection and sale happens quietly in the background, often thanks to cookies used by third parties for better ad targeting or a better experience user) but also for cybercriminals.

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"And this is even more worrying, because unfortunately there are many ways in which cybercriminals can obtain our data" say the experts of the global digital security company ESET.

• They may use phishing attacks to target us directly.
• They may hide malware in mobile apps, game torrents, or other software that looks legitimate.
• Or they may use previously compromised data to obtain our credentials and access our accounts.

If you're one of those looking to mitigate the effects of these threats, a good idea this holiday season is to give gifts that improve the security and privacy of your loved ones. These are the 8 gifts that ESET experts recommend for this holiday season.

1. Secure wireless router: We all have a wireless router in our home, but we probably use the one provided by the ISP. Many of these devices have security gaps, for example, they don't accept long and strong passwords, don't notify when critical updates are available, or have UPnP or WPS enabled. A better option would be to choose a small business router designed for security and, if possible, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) on it to avoid installing a VPN on every device.

2. Cover for the camera: Web cam hacking, also known as camfecting, is not uncommon. Cybercriminals or simple voyeurs can gain access to other people's cameras through various means, such as Remote Access Trojans (RATs) or exploiting vulnerabilities. They could then use the stolen material or recordings for fraud or extortion, among other things. A sliding camera cover can therefore come in handy. Other countermeasures include placing a piece of tape over the lens when the camera is not in use, or unplugging the camera if it is an external camera.

3. Privacy Filter for Laptop Screen: Hybrid working means more of us are traveling to and from the office again. That means more opportunities for prying eyes to see what we're typing on the way to work. A privacy filter is the obvious solution.

4. Comprehensive security software. Now you know that you and your family should be using a security solution from a trusted vendor on all of your devices. Smartphones and tablets – which have long been among the most popular holiday gifts – also need comprehensive protection against threats that can be detected on the device, local network, Internet, and applications. Also, if a device is connected to the internet, then there is a risk of the device being infected with malware. And once there, it could be used to steal your data, lock your machine for blackmail, or other malicious purposes.

5. Anti-Tracking Software: As privacy concerns have grown among the population, the market has responded with ad blockers and tracking blockers. As their name suggests, they are designed to protect your browsing activity from unwanted tracking by ensuring that no intrusive or potentially malicious ads appear on your screen.

6. Virtual Private Network (VPN): These easy-to-use tools redirect your data through a secure encrypted tunnel so that the website you're visiting can't identify you.

A VPN is useful for enhancing visibility and security – preventing ISPs, governments, hackers and advertisers from spying on you – and is especially important if you're out and about using public Wi-Fi networks. However, not all VPNs are the same. The free services they may sell your data to make money, while those with servers located in certain countries may pressure the provider to hand over data. Independent research is required to find the right solution.

7. Password Management Services: Many of us have so many accounts and applications online today that we need to use passwords that we can easily remember, and we often share the same credentials across multiple accounts.

The problem is that if one of these passwords ends up in the hands of a hacker, it can put all of our accounts at risk, as cybercriminals can use automated "credential stuffing" tools to try to unlock your other password-protected accounts. same password. With a password manager you can easily create and save unique and strong passwords or passphrases for each website. The administrator will remember them for you, and all you need to remember is a single password called the “master password”.

8. 2FA Key Devices: Two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) offers protection against password theft threats by providing another layer of user authentication.

Although the special MFA applications can also do this, another option is a physical hardware key. After registering it on each website you want to use, you simply insert the key (usually into a USB port) to then connect. If a cybercriminal doesn't have your key, they won't be able to pretend to be you.

Let this holiday season also be a season of security and privacy awareness. By taking small steps like the above, we can keep our information more secure and make life more difficult for fraudsters.

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