I never leave home without 3 security gadgets

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YubiKey 5C NFC

The YubiKey 5C NFC remains an invaluable part of my defense against being hacked.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

No matter how good you are, there’s a security blunder waiting for you around every corner.

Leave an encrypted flash drive (here’s a Easy-to-use encrypted drive), plug into the wrong outlet for a quick charge, or click a phishing link in a spam email and you could find yourself in a world of trouble and not even know it.

You will only make one mistake. And no one is innocent.

Also: Five easy steps to keep your smartphone safe from hackers

While safety is important at home and in the office, things can get really dangerous when you’re out and about.

The best way to stay safe is to carry something with me that will protect me from hackers and attacks. These are simple tools, and even if you have to buy them all, they’ll cost you less than $200

1.USB data blocker

What does a USB data blocker do?

It prevents unwanted data transfer from your devices while charging This essentially shuts down the data side of things and only allows power to flow to the device.

Why do you need it?

O.MG Cable by Hak5

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

How do you know you can trust the cable or charger you’re using? Hackers can use modified hardware to hack your device and steal data or infect your device with malware.

Think you can detect malicious hardware? Think again!

Notice the white wire in this small picture. Looks innocent, right? It’s not! This is one O.MG Cable by Hak5And it can be used to attack smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop systems.

Some of these spots are your only chance to use one Corrupt cable detector.

Damaged cable detector lights up with the cable plugged in

O.MG Malicious Cable Detector says this cable is suspect.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Instead of checking all the cables you plug into your device, plugging in through a data blocker creates a safety air gap between you and malicious devices like the O.MG cable. If you use chargers and cables while out and about, I recommend using a data blocker to protect your devices.

USB data blockers have a downside and that is that they block fast charging, as these fast charging protocols communicate data to negotiate optimal charging speeds. Still, I’d rather slow charging than get hacked.

You can get data blocker for that to USB, USB-A to USB-CAnd USB-C.

2. USB security key

What does the USB security key do?

A USB security key is a device that allows websites and applications to confirm that you’re really you, and it creates an extra line of protection between hackers and your data. Think of it as a physical password that you plug into a device (or tap into — because some security keys use NFC) to gain access. I recommend one YubiKey.

Also: WWhat is HAT Security for Apple ID and why is it important?

Why do you need it?

This adds an extra line of defense to your online accounts. Even if hackers have access to your username and password, they still need your USB security key to be able to compromise your account.

Your password may be compromised, but your USB security key will not.

3. Hardware-based encrypted USB flash drives

What does a hardware-based encrypted USB flash drive do?

It protects your data using high-level encryption, and since the encryption is hardware-based, you know to make sure that any data stored on the drive is always encrypted.

Also: How to Unlock the Real Power of Flipper Zero Hacking Tool

Why do you need it?

There are times when you need to transfer data with you, and using a hardware-based encrypted USB flash drive means your data is always fully protected. This means that if you lose your USB flash drive, yes, you’re still saving on drive costs, but you can be sure that the data stored on the drive is locked forever.

If you’re super-paranoid, you can even set up a USB flash drive Apricorn Aegis Above to delete data after 10 wrong passcode attempts.

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