The 2016 Father’s Day Security-Minded Gift Guide

It’s that third Sunday of June and you know what that means – It’s Father’s Day!

Here at RCS we know that dads rock. Who else has the patience to play basketball, fix popped bike tires and help out with homework and housework (except you, mom, of course…)?

Whether your dad is the cool-dad type, who just loves to hang out over sports and beer, or the business-y dad type, who has a lot of important-person things to do, or if he falls somewhere in the middle, dads mean a lot to us here at RCS.

And dads, since we value you so much, we want to let you in on a secret – apparently, when it comes to digital security, you could use to take a lesson from mom. See, a recent study conducted by digital security firm HMA concluded that men tend to be much more laxed in their attitudes towards digital security than women are. Though men use social media less than women, they tend to share more details in their posts and are more apt to giving away sensitive information like dates of birth and social security numbers. According to Ken Murnane in Forbes.com, the study concluded that “while men were slightly more likely than women to report having experienced security problems, they were much more confident that they were protected online. There’s an obvious disconnect here.”

Yikes.

To help our dads ramp up their digital security (so they can at least be on par with mom) we present this handy security-minded gift guide. For once, ditch the neck ties and the power tools (okay, maybe keep the power tools, you can never have too many of those) and give dad a gift that will actually make his life more secure – When did a necktie ever do that?

And so, without further ado, we present our 2016 Father’s Day Security-Minded Gift Guide:

1 – Subscription to a password manager

Creating a solid unique password is a challenge. As we have mentioned time and time again, to achieve awesome-password status, the chosen combo has to be relatively long, contain no words found in the dictionary, and use a mix of letters, numbers, symbols and special characters. Now multiply this challenge times 30 or 50 or however many passwords and logins dad has… Keeping them all straight is a nightmare!

This is where password managers come in. Your password manager is a hub for all things password and login-related. You create one super-strong password that you’ll use to enter your vault where all your other passwords are stored and the manager does the rest for you, including creating super strong passwords for all your new logins, assessing your old passwords for duplicates and weak ones, it automatically logs you into your sites and it syncs your passwords across your devices.

Check out PCMag’s list of the best passwords managers and their subscription plans. They range in price from $12.99 -40.00 for a year’s subscription. There are free versions as well, but the paid ones are much more robust and, hey, isn’t dad’s data worth at least 12.99?

2 – Encrypted USB stick

Is dad the forgetful type who leaves everything from his keys to his coffee to his smartphone everyplace he goes? Or maybe he is just an undercover James Bond who is always on the look out for slick spy-like gadgets. Either way, an encrypted USB stick is the perfect present to make sure that portable data is kept out of the wrong hands.

While it’s true that USB sticks aren’t as prevalent as they once were due to the popularity of cloud computing, USBs are still very much around and are still very lose-able. If dad is in the habit of transferring data with a USB stick, an encrypted one is the only smart choice. Encrypted USB’s such as the Kingston or the Aegis Secure Key not only encrypt information, they reformat themselves after passwords have been incorrectly entered more than a few times and some even come with physical numerical locks on them for added security.

There are a few different options, that all feature slight performance and spec differences so find the one that suits your dad best. They will cost you a pretty penny but if this is how dad transfers documents or pics of his kids, it’s really the safest way to go.

3 – Subscription to cloud-based backup service

If dad has lots of sensitive and important stuff stored on his computer or mobile device (and let’s face it, we all do) he’s got to be backing it up on a regular basis.

As we recently mentioned, cloud-based backup programs do just what they sound like they do – they back up all your files and folders automatically to a cloud-based server so if catastrophe ever strikes your computer or external hard drive, you have another digital copy of your data on your provider’s servers. And in light of the current ransomware epidemic hitting just about everybody and their dads, back up is your very best way to get out of paying those rotten hackers.

Check out our recent post where we walk you through how to choose the best option for your needs and get dad set up with one this Father’s Day!

4 – Subscription to a solid anti-malware program

As we learned from the HMA study, dads tend to surf with less caution than they should. Surfing the web without thinking can get you into quite a bit of trouble though, and we want our dads, and everybody else in our lives to be safe, too.

A solid anti-malware program like RCS is one of the most effective tools there is to block malware, adware and other nasties from your computer. Even ransomware can’t easily get onto a computer that’s updated properly (a different story for a different time, you can read about it here, though) and has a reliable anti-malware program protecting it.

And because we really care about our dads here at RCS we are offering our RCS Complete Protection anti-malware at a special discount for Father’s Day, as a show of our thanks for all the times our dads kept us safe and secure.

5 – Subscription to a VPN provider

For the dad who travels a lot, having access to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a must. A VPN is a secured group of computers linked together over a public network. By logging into your network, all your communications are encrypted and safe from eavesdropping and prying eyes.

Many companies have their own VPN’s which their employees use to connect remotely, so if dad is of the business-y with lots of important stuff to do type, he likely has a VPN set up already. But if dad is more of the chiller-dad type, and doesn’t think twice before ordering pizza over the Domino’s app from the public WiFi at the ball game, a VPN is the perfect security solution.

There are free VPNs but they don’t offer the same level of security as the paid ones do, simple as that. Most will run about $5-10 a month so they aren’t really a very big investment either. Check out this incredibly in-depth review VPN services to find the one that best suits dad’s needs.

Who ever thought making dad’s life more secure could be so simple? Well, now you know it is. If only you could get him to drive a bit more cautiously (like mom….)

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at RCS!

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