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A Device That Turns Almost Any Camera Into A Webcam

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Hacks and security breaches have become so rampant recently that we all have to start thinking about the security of our digital data and online privacy.

Part of that is picking what information you feel comfortable sharing and figuring out the best way to share it, but you may also want to take a few extra preventative measures to keep people from snooping on your stuff. Firewalls and preinstalled security software set up by your employer can keep you safe at work, and having a router with strong security features can keep you protected at home, but what about when you're out in public?

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If you prefer working from a cafe instead of a cramped apartment, or are forced to work from planes and hotel lobbies because of your job, the four accessories below can help keep your work a little safer. Though not perfect, having strong passwords and enabling features like two-factor authentication are also smart choices.

1. A webcam shade so you can control when it's covered and when it's not.

> Amazon

If you've been walking around with a piece of tape over your laptop's built-in camera, it's time for a cheap, more functional upgrade. There are many webcam shades out there, but I like Cimkiz Webcam Cover Slides because they're designed to be used with phones and tablets too, not just computers.

The slides come in a three-pack, and each one can be easily attached to a device by peeling a thin film off the back and sticking it over your webcam. The slide can move, covering your camera when you want privacy, and uncovering if you'd like to video chat with friends or take a selfie.

Because it's so thin (.0027 inches), Cimkinz's shades won't hinder your laptop from closing, or add any bulk or heft to your phone or tablet. Instead, you'll be able to work in public without worrying that someone can turn on your laptop's camera remotely to take pictures.

Cimkiz Webcam Cover Slide (3), $4.55, available at Amazon

2. A computer lock to deter people from stealing your computer.

> Amazon

I'm too anxious to leave my computer on a table in public without having my hands on the keyboard, because I know there's always a chance it could be snatched. Many laptops have a Kensington lock port on them, and I highly recommend them if you're ever in the position of having to leave your computer unattended.

Using the lock is easy: tie the cable around something secure, like a bolted-down table, and stick end of the combo lock into the Kensington-compatible port on your computer. That's it. As long as you remember your combo, a thief will have an incredibly tough time getting away with your laptop.

Kensington Combination Cable Lock for Laptops and Other Devices, $19.53, available at Amazon

3. A screen filter that prevents onlookers from seeing what's on your screen.

> Amazon

Few feelings are as creepy as feeling someone looking over your shoulder. If you're working with sensitive data in public, there's always a chance wandering eyes will glance over and see what's on your screen, which is why you should install a privacy filter over it immediately.

Akamai's filter comes in several sizes and blacks out your screen to people viewing from more than a 60-degree viewing angle. That's aggressive enough that people sitting next to you won't be able to tell what you're doing on your computer.

The filter can be attached to your screen by either clear adhesive strips or slide mount tabs; the first option is better if you'd like to keep the filter on all the time, and the second is the way to go if you'd like the option to slip it on and off more easily.

Besides improving your privacy, Akamai's screen filter also reduces the amount of blue light you'll see from your computer's screen by as much as 70%, which is a nice bonus.

Akamai Office Products 15.6 Inch Privacy Screen Filter, $35.99, available at Amazon

4. VPN (Virtual Private Network) software to keep your data private and safe.

> Amazon

The privacy tools I've recommended so far improve your privacy and security by preventing physical attacks, but what about digital ones? Being on the same public Wi-Fi network as a hacker can leave your devices vulnerable, which is why you should only use one if you're also using a VPN.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, which is a service that sends your data through private, protected servers instead of public ones. Using a VPN has several security benefits, but one of the biggest is protecting your data from being seen by other people on your network. Individual computers are typically identified by their IP (Internet Protocol) address, and a VPN keeps yours hidden. To the outside world, your single computer has the same address as several others, making it a lot more difficult to identify.

Using a VPN does have its drawbacks though, like reduced internet speed. Since your data is being routed through specific servers instead of the closest ones available, you may notice some slowdown. Still, that's a small price to pay for improved privacy.

If you're constantly working while on public Wi-Fi, I recommend getting a subscription to NordVPN, which covers six devices (Android, iOS, Mac, PC) for 18 months. Because NordVPN has 4,000 servers available worldwide, you probably won't notice as much slowdown. And using the software is as easy as downloading an app and signing into your account. Once it's set up, you can surf the web like you normally would — except now your connection will be private.


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Source : http://www.businessinsider.com/computer-safety-security-tech-accessories-vpn-2018-6

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