In the season of giving, we all want our presents to be both thoughtful and safe.

This holiday, gift not just with heart but with wisdom, especially when it comes to tech gadgets. In a world awash with innovation, not all tech is treasure.

“Give a gift that keeps on giving, not one that keeps on taking.”

From gadgets that promise connection to those that offer convenience, it’s crucial to understand the potential risks that come with tech presents. For example, Suzanne Gdovic’s experience with a drained gift card is a cautionary tale. She bought a $200 gift card from Target, only for her friend to find it empty at checkout. It’s a stark reminder that the gift of good security and privacy is priceless.

“A gift card drained is a holiday spirit strained.”

The Cautionary List of Tech No-Gos:

1. Genetic Testing Kits:

  • The Indelible Data Ink: Genetic testing kits like 23andMe are gifts with consequences that outlast the holiday cheer. Once your DNA is out there, it’s out there for good, potentially affecting not just you but also your relatives.

Stat: This year witnessed a massive spill of genetic data from 23andMe, sounding the alarm for privacy concerns.

2. Video Doorbells:

  • The All-Seeing Eyes: These devices may offer convenience, but they open a pandora’s box of surveillance issues, recording not just visitors but also everyday life, potentially accessible by law enforcement.


3. VPN Subscriptions:

  • The Illusion of Anonymity: Contrary to popular belief, VPNs don’t guarantee anonymity and may even expose your web data to risks, especially the free ones that may sell your information to the highest bidder.


4. Kid-Tracking Apps:

  • The Web of Surveillance: The intent to protect your children is noble, but location-tracking apps come with a slew of security and privacy issues, often leaking sensitive information.

Stat: Renowned family tracking app Life360 was caught selling precise user location data, undermining the very privacy it promised to protect.

5. Budget Android Tablets:

  • The Trojan Gifts: Beware of low-cost Android tablets that may harbor outdated software and malware, compromising the user’s data and privacy.

Stat: An investigation by the EFF’s Alexis Hancock revealed preloaded malware on a child’s Android tablet, a sobering discovery for budget-conscious shoppers.

6. Internet-Connected Sex Toys:

  • The Invasion of Intimacy: Adding internet connectivity to personal devices can turn intimate moments into data breaches, with numerous incidents of security flaws and exposed user data.



1. What should I consider when choosing tech gifts?

  • Look beyond the cool factor. Consider the long-term security, privacy implications, and the trustworthiness of the product’s company.

2. Are there safe alternatives to risky tech gifts?

  • Yes, opt for non-internet-connected versions of products or those with a strong track record for protecting user data.

“Not all that glitters in tech is gold. Sometimes, it’s a cautionary tale waiting to unfold.”

Insightful Tips for Safe Tech Gifting:
  • Inspect Before You Gift: Check for any signs of tampering or poor security practices.
  • Privacy is the New Luxury: Choose gifts that respect the recipient’s data privacy.
  • Embrace the Classics: Sometimes, the best gifts are those without an on/off switch.


This holiday season, gift with care and caution. The real joy comes from sharing moments, not malware. After all, the best presents are those wrapped with love and tied with the ribbons of trust and security.


“In the digital age, the best gifts are those that bring joy without compromising security, a reminder that sometimes, the most precious moments are those that technology can’t capture.”

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