“You better watch out!” Santa is on the way, which means so is Secret Santa and employee gift season. It can be challenging to find interesting gifts that are workplace appropriate. So we put together a few ideas, from our office to yours. It includes our tried and true cyber security tech gifts as well as some other tech gift ideas. We threw in some non-tech ideas as well. Let us know how they go over at your office this 2021 holiday season.
In all likelihood there will be many new internet-dependent presents that will be exchanged in homes this holiday. So why not give the gift of a better wireless system? A mesh network ensures internet connection through every nook and cranny of your home. Our personal favorite is Eero.
The sound of music is especially appropriate during the holidays. After all, without music the holidays would Bb. Our favorite home wireless speaker system is Sonos because you can enjoy it in every room. You can also set up your TV to run through the system so you’ll be able to keep track of the game whenever you have to step away from the screen. There’s even a portable option so you can take the music outside when gardening, spending time by the pool or washing the car.
Cyber Security Tech Gift Ideas
Take the opportunity to show your employees how much you value cyber security with one of these tech gift ideas:
USB Data Blockers
Useful for any employee, especially those who do a lot of traveling or work on the go. USB connections and mobile charging cords transfer both power and data. So when you plug in at a public charging station, such as those at airports, you are also giving access to your device data.
USB data blockers prevent that by allowing power to pass through to your device but blocking the data connection. There are many on the market and some come in multipacks and fun colors. Just type in “USB data blockers,” on Amazon (or your favorite shopping site) and you will see many options. Most cost less than $10.
USB Port Blocker
You know those little plugs that come with your wireless mouse and plug into your USB port? Port blockers are a lot like that except their only function is to protect the port from anything being able to plug into it. Some lock with a key. Others are just meant to prevent accidental damage to your port.
Portable Power Banks
These have become much smaller, lighter and more powerful in the past few years, so even if people already have one, it might be time for an upgrade. Just like the name implies, these are portable devices that can charge your devices on the go. They also protect your data because you won’t have to risk plugging in at a portable charging station or public outlet. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors and can range in price from $5 to over $100. The more expensive versions often have charge ports, varying port configurations (e.g., USB A, USB C, AC) and enough power to charge a laptop (or a phone multiple times) before needing a recharge. Some can even charge a dead car battery.
Laptop and Device Locks
These resemble small bike locks and can lock a portable device to a stationary object to prevent theft. (So you can refill your drink at that cafe you like to work from without worrying about someone swiping your computer). They often have a four-digit lock with a resettable locking code and cost less than $50.
Password Manager Subscription
A password manager allows you to save passwords, notes and even credit card information securely using end to end encryption. You just have to remember one master password and the rest autofill when you need them from your browser or device. Many offer free versions, but with subscriptions you get added benefits, like being able to create accounts for multiple family members or even create a shared password folder. A one-year subscription is a great gift. Once the subscription expires, it’s easy to switch to a free version if they don’t want to pay to continue the subscription.
Hardware Password Manager
This device is about the size of a keychain and encrypts and stores your passwords. They cost about $50 and you access them using a PIN number access or fingerprint. Make sure to choose one that can handle multi-factor authentication and that works with the platform you need.
Backpack It All Up
Another great gift idea that has improved and come down in price recently — backpacks that have charging ports built right in. Your power bank plugs in on the inside and then you plug your device into the pack without needing to open any zippers. Some also have RFID anti-theft protection, weatherproofing and laptop sections that zip all the way open (for less hassle when going through airport security checkpoints). If it will be used for travel, avoid any with built in lithium batteries that can’t be removed. These may be restricted for in-cabin air travel.
Other Fun Gifts Ideas
Everyone likes a new toy for the holiday. Here are a few that grabbed our attention:
- An instant language translator. Press a button, speak into it in your language, press another button and it is translated to a language you choose and the recipient can hear. There are many on the market ranging in price from the $90+ Poliglu (36 languages) to less expensive ones ($15 and up) that cover fewer languages but serve the same function.
- Starscope is a monocular 10X50 telescope that fits in the palm of your hand and can be attached to your smartphone. It replaces heavy camera lenses and delivers excellent results. Less than $50 for one and cheaper if you buy two or three at a time.
- FIXD is a small flash drive type device that instantly tells what warning lights on your car mean and how serious the problem is. Average price is $59.
- Levitating soccer balls ($15-$30) are not only fun but provide indoor and outdoor exercise for parents and children alike.
We hope you enjoy this list (and the holidays).
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