As the holiday season approaches, many find themselves trying to plumb the depths of their loved ones' souls to pick out holiday gifts. Do they want a gift that reflects their love of tennis? Maybe they want something based on their favorite sports team? Or maybe they love a specific hobby?
If your loved one is into cybersecurity, it can be hard to find them a gift. Fear not, dear reader. This guide will break down seven excellent ideas for the cybersecurity fanatic in your life, from password keepers to books to crypto wallets.
Ready to learn more? Let's dive in.
1. Password Keeper
The first gift on our list screams cybersecurity: a password keeper.
This gift is ideal for anyone who cares about cybersecurity, from professional IT protection experts to ordinary people interested in securing their passwords. But the name is a bit misleading. Password keepers can come in two forms.
The first type of password keeper is a physical, or "offline" device. This tech is an "analog" password manager that can retain passwords in a completely offline way, which is essential to keeping important logins for bank and credit card accounts secure. Users can even plug some password keepers into computers as USBs, allowing them to press buttons on the devices to input passwords automatically.
"Online" password keepers function differently, as their name implies. These are usually subscription-based services that store passwords behind sealed walls, allowing users to retain all their passwords in one place without fear of forgetting them or losing them to an insecure system.
Such systems are especially useful if the cybersecurity expert in your life wants to trim down the amount of physical equipment they possess.
By the way, take a look at this helpful guide from Hive Systems:
The next gift on our list is a VPN.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are some of the most important tools for navigating the Internet safely and securely. For those not aware: when using the internet, your computer always sends and receives a plethora of data, and one piece of data is an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Every device has a unique IP, but part of an IP contains the same information as other devices on the same WiFi network.
Long story short, those who receive online information — from websites to hackers — can use IP addresses for purposes both benign and malicious, from region-locking information to tracking Internet usage.
For that reason, VPNs are an essential item in any cybersecurity specialist's toolkit, as they allow users to mask their computer's VPN.
You can give a VPN to a cybersecurity expert by giving them a subscription to a service like MullvadVPN or NordVPN, which gives them access to a VPN for a year or so. This makes for an especially good gift for those with multiple computers, as VPN services tend to cap the number of devices on their VPNs.
3. Cybersecurity Literature
Want to shop for a cybersecurity expert that already has a VPN or password keeper? Not to worry! You can give them a gift that transcends the world of physical devices — in the form of literature!
Although it might seem like the worlds of technology and literature don't go together, this preconception couldn't be further from the truth. There are a variety of literary texts that may appeal to someone interested in cybersecurity, ranging from classical to contemporary literature.
If your loved one has a mind for philosophy, give them a copy of the Ninth Bridgewater Treatise by Charles Babbage, the founding father of computing. If they're more interested in classic literature, try a book like Dracula, which, beyond the vampires, is explicitly bound up with issues of information technology and security.
Still, maybe your loved one sits in the intersection between cybersecurity and science fiction fandom, as many do. If this is the case, consider gifting them a copy of classic cyberpunk fiction like William Gibson's Neuromancer or Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.
4. Raspberry Pi starter kit
Has your loved one expressed interest in moving beyond the realm of the virtual and into coding or computer engineering? The best gift for them might be a starter kit for Raspberry Pi.
Created as a tool to introduce novices to computer engineering, Raspberry Pi has ballooned into a global sensation since its launch in 2012. In short, Raspberry Pi is an accessible system for building and coding computerized devices — and depending on the kit that a user is operating, this might include everything from a desktop PC to a video camera.
Raspberry Pi starter kits offer users everything they need to dive into the wonderful world of DIY computing.
5. Family Monitoring Software
The next gift on our list is family monitoring software. If you are in the same family as a cybersecurity fanatic, you probably know all too well that it's never just about them — they want to keep their family and loved ones safe, as well.
If this is the case (and if you don't need to stage some kind of intervention for your loved one), you might consider buying them a subscription to a piece of family monitoring software. These tools can help them keep track of their own loved ones' safety online, from finances to browsing.
Doing so is especially important for those with children — there are always new threats to keep in mind and new necessities to keep the family safe.
6. Crypto Hardware Wallet
The final item on our list is a Crypto Hardware Wallet. If your loved one owns or wants to own cryptocurrency, these pieces of tech can help them skip past the convoluted process of keeping their currency online, and instead, they can maintain their Bitcoin, Etherium, or DogeCoin in the safest place available — on their person.
On the logistical end, crypto hardware wallets work by recording and maintaining keys (the critical and irreplaceable pieces of information users need to access their cryptocurrency wallets) in a secure, physical location. No more worries about losing a key to negligence or a hack!
Anyone interested in cybersecurity probably has some degree of caution. After all, they can't stay safe if they aren't vigilant. But with any of the ideas on this list, you'll be able to give the cyber-expert in your life two treats — one, the chosen item, and two, the long-term gift that is peace of mind.
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