The Best Bits You Can Buy to Keep Your Life Extra Secure

By Tom Pritchard on at

Following the WannaCrypt attacks, which started a week ago, you probably have security on your mind. While you can protect your computer with some solid anti-virus software, up-to-date software, and an ounce of common sense, that's not always the case with everything else in your life.

If you're a bit concerned about vulnerabilities in the real world, here are some things you can buy for some extra peace of mind.

Note that we haven't included very much smart home/IoT tech in this list. It's up to you whether you want any of that stuff, but it's worth bearing in mind that there are extra security holes you need to worry about when you set them up.

Raspberry Pi

Smart home tech is invariably connected to the internet in some shape or form, which might put you off buying it. Thankfully there are plenty of smart-ish home security gizmos you can rig together using the Raspberry Pi. What you use the Pi for is up to you, but with all the accessories you can buy there are plenty of options available to you. The best part is you can keep it offline if you want to, and if it's offline it can't be remotely hacked. [Buy the Raspberry Pi 3 here | Buy the Raspberry Pi Zero W here]

Barking Dog Alarm, £70

They say that simply having a dog is a deterrent against burglars, but what if you can't (or won't) have one? An alarm that barks like a dog is a great compromise. This one has a 180-degree detection beam with a six metre radius, and if it detects someone it'll bark at them for 20 seconds. That, along with the optional alarm, should send any would-be thieves scarpering. [Buy it here]

Privacy Filters

If you're using your laptop out in the real world, you probably don't want people snooping on your Tomb Raider announcement presentation (or whatever it is you're working on). A privacy filter means you can only see what's going on from a specific angle, so snoopers can't glance at your screen discretely. There are plenty available, so have a browse and find one that fits your machine of choice.

Am-Tech Heavy Duty Alarm Lock, £11

Locks help deter thieves, but thieves can easily dispatch even the best locks. This lock is a little bit different because it has a built-in alarm that'll give anyone a nasty fright if it gets moved or knocked. Even if this is no more secure than your average heavy-duty lock, it'll give you some warning if someone tries to break through. [Buy it here]

Skunklock, $154 (£199) plus shipping

Bike theft is a problem, and intrepid thieves can make easy work of even the most secure locks. But what if the lock fought back? The Skunklock has a pepper spray-like gas inside, and should anyone take an angle grinder to the lock they'll get a face-full of gas that causes nausea, shortness of breath, and irritates the eyes. It's not illegal yet, and since you can't really weaponise this anymore than you could a regular heavy-duty bike lock, hopefully it never will be. Each lock may cost as much as a cheap bike, but it's a small price to pay to give a dirty bike thief a nasty shock. [Buy it here]

Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell, £160

How can you be sure the person outside your front door isn't a serial killer, or something worse like a salesman? It might seem overkill to some, but with this video doorbell you can see exactly who's at your door regardless of whether you're at home or not. It connects to your phone or tablet so you can communicate with whoever is there, which could be handy if the postman has something that doesn't fit through the letterbox and needs to know where to put it. It's also got motion sensors in case they knock instead of ringing, and can be powered by a rechargeable battery or your existing doorbell wiring. Plus, because it's outside your house, you don't need to worry about being spied on. [Buy it here]

Laptop Webcam Privacy Shield, £10

Webcams can be hacked into, unfortunately, even if it's disabled, and it's not like you can unplug it from your computer. Thankfully there are extreme measure for extreme circumstances, like this sliding webcam cover. It covers up your webcam when it's not in use, with a cover that slides away whenever you do need it. Pretty self-explanatory really. [Buy it here]

If tat's a bit much for you, or you don't want to pay £10, you can always go with my preferred option: black electrical tape. The roll is a mere 83 pence, blocks the camera well enough, and doesn't leave much in the way of adhesive gunk when you remove it. [Buy it here]

Rabitgoo Frosted Privacy Window Film (44.5 x 200cm), £10

Want to keep light coming into your rooms, but don't want people to see through? No problem. This frosted film will stick to your windows using static (so no pesky residue), and that means you can wander around in your pants without worrying about a passerby calling the police or having to keep the lights on all the time. It also has the added bonus of blocking 99.6% of UV light, in case you're worried about cancer. [Buy it here]

Solar Powered Motion Sensing Security Light, £12

Darkness is the criminal's best friend, so shining a literal light on their activities will do wonders at foiling their plans. Motion sensing lights are no new advancement, but this one has the advantage of not needing to be plugged into the mains. A full charge will offer 8-10 hours of power to the 12 LEDs, with the motion sensor offering a range of three metres and 120-degree vision. It's also wirefree, automatically turns on and off as the sun rises and sets, and has IP64 waterproofing. [Buy it here]

Frostfire Home Security Bar, £16

You know how TV people love to put a chair under a door handle to keep people out? That's basically what this bar is, with adjustable length to fit most doors and provide some extra reinforcement. It also works on sliding doors, preventing anyone from opening it until removed. If someone does manage to get in, you can also hit them with it until the police arrive. Just make sure not to do any serious harm, lest the police arrest you instead. [Buy it here]


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