6 Security Awareness Gifts for the Cybersecurity Unaware

December 18, 2019
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3 min read

Better personal security in everyday life isn’t something everyone considers — at least, not until something goes wrong. Securing home devices and personal accounts can be daunting for those who just aren’t that interested in the devices or cybersecurity. Learning the basics of personal cybersecurity is not the most appealing activity to everyone, and getting lectured by tech-savvy family members isn’t either.

Fortunately, there is a better way to teach cybersecurity. Giving the gift of better security can grant you an opportunity to discuss broader security topics in terms that specifically relate to your loved ones’ daily lives.

Here are six security awareness gifts for the person in your life who just isn’t that into security.

1. A New, More Secure Router

Home Wi-Fi security is an important part of overall personal cybersecurity that’s commonly overlooked. Default device passwords are often left unchanged after purchases, and owners aren’t always on the lookout for firmware updates. Older router models may also use outdated security protocols, so a new router can be a security awareness gift that secures the home network.

Gifting a new router may also mean spending part of your visit as a family tech support representative who reconnects devices and updates software. As painful as change might seem to your family members, a more secure home network will be worth the effort.

2. A Password Manager Subscription

Password reuse remains a gateway to multiple types of account information, especially as more personal record caches are being exposed online or sold on the dark web. Building better password habits and eliminating reuse can go a long way toward better personal security, and a password manager subscription can be a step in this direction.

As we all know, more secure passwords are but one of the many habits required to secure your digital world. Learning a new login workflow may not be for everyone, and new users may not like the change initially, but they may feel compelled to keep going if they understand how it can help them protect their accounts.

While risk and security vulnerabilities still exist, password managers are still a better tool than weak or reused passwords.

3. Encrypted File Storage/Backups

Ransomware gets a lot of press for good reason. A ransomware attack can result in total data loss when no backup exists, but secure file storage held locally or in the cloud can help eliminate much of the dread associated with data loss after a ransomware attack.

Giving the gift of an external encrypted storage device or a cloud-based encrypted backup service can grant your family members peace of mind. Knowing that important data will be secured even if your machine is overtaken by ransomware can ease worries over potential data loss.

4. Computer Monitor Privacy Filters

Privacy filters for monitors and laptop screens help protect your on-screen activity from prying eyes. They make it nearly impossible for someone to make out what’s on your screen unless they’re sitting right in front of it. Commuters and other travelers can benefit from this kind of physical barrier to their private information being displayed in public. Filters can also serve as a physical reminder to employ better personal security practices.

Privacy filters can be removed and may not protect against unauthorized access in cases where devices are stolen. If they’re used as part of an overall better approach to physical security and cybersecurity, however, they can decrease the likelihood of data loss during travel.

5. Anti-Malware and Ransomware Protection

Protecting against known malware threats and ransomware attacks is a must for personal devices. Not all family members are aware there are solutions to help prevent ransomware attacks. Coupled with an external or cloud-based encrypted backup, an anti-malware and ransomware service subscription can help protect your loved ones’ devices from attacks. Gifting several small security awareness gifts in this way can effectively build up defenses across a variety of otherwise vulnerable channels.

Bear in mind that false positive scan results and software bugs are possible when new definitions are installed, and this could be alarming to a user unfamiliar with anti-malware software. Teaching new users what to expect from their software (including potential bugs) may help to ease their minds.

6. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) Subscription

Virtual private networks (VPNs) can be a good way to separate and encrypt your own traffic away from everything else traveling with your data. They offer significantly more privacy and security compared to a standard internet connection.

As I’m sure you know, some security awareness gifts may require a little extra work. Finding an appropriate VPN service that is maintained by a reputable company might be a challenge. Also, VPNs can be very helpful but no device can be secured from every possible attack. Understanding a VPN’s role in overall security habits could help new users as they learn a new network connection workflow.

Teaching Better Security Through Useful Tech Gifts

Each of these gifts could include discussion around their purpose, which may provide a better way to teach cybersecurity. They all reinforce better security through physical means or by encouraging new habits, and they offer the new user an opportunity to learn more about cybersecurity, a topic they might otherwise neglect.

Michelle Greenlee
Freelance Technology Writer

Michelle is a freelance technology writer. She has created technical content for a range of brands and publications, including Business Insider, DICE, GE Dig...
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