Step Up Your Security: 7 Ways to Up Your Game

There are many frontiers to protect in today’s world. Maybe it’s not enough to install smart blinds to hide from nosy neighbors and add security cameras and smart locks to deter unwanted guests. Now, with cybercrime a multi-billion-dollar global industry, we might also want to choose a secure app to manage our passwords, find a better backup solution to protect our digital archives from cyber theft, and make sure to keep our credentials unique. Check out our selections for the best home security systems, cyber security apps, and media to learn more about how it all works.

For Your Home

SimpliSafe Haven ($509.86)

The world is awash in consumer security kits to add all kinds of sensors to your home. I’ve tested products from SimpliSafe, Eufy, Eve, and EcoBee. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop to manage everything from your door locks to internal or external cameras, temperature, leak detection, or more, SimpliSafe is cheap, easy to set up, very reliable, and has a great reputation. I’d start with the SimpliSafe Haven kit and build up from there. It includes most of what you need to lock down your home. The only downside is SimpliSafe doesn’t integrate with HomeKit, so its many sensors can’t be used for fun things like triggering lights in your house and can’t be controlled using Siri or Apple’s Home app. For more home security recommendations, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

Eve Smart Security Camera ($249.95)

No need to recharge your security camera! Eve’s wired outdoor camera replaces an existing light installation and attaches to the underlying junction box, making it completely reliable in its connection. It works with HomeKit Secure Video, so you can use the motion sensor to trigger lights. Eve also offers a variety of privacy-enhancing HomeKit accessories, including automatic blinds and door sensors.

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eufyCam 3C ($469.99)

It’s shockingly straightforward to install these battery-powered security cameras, and with their 4K video streams, night-vision, light and siren alarms, and on-site secure recording they do an excellent job. Video from the cameras is recorded by the system’s home base, which sits in your house, not the cloud (as long as you don’t sign up for their cloud service). The batteries last multiple months and recharge in a few hours. Eufy made the news in a bad way in late 2022 when security researcher Paul Moore reported their web portal permitted cameras to send unencrypted thumbnail images and video streams to the internet, claims Eufy denied and then eventually admitted, in emails to The Verge. While all true, those vulnerabilities have been remediated. I’m confident enough that all of the fuss has resulted in a better product that I have installed two of the outdoor cameras myself. Personally, I don’t think indoor consumer security cameras are a good idea though, no matter who makes them.

For Your Digital Life

Yubikey Security Key NFC ($25)

By far the greatest digital threat to your online life is passwords. Passwords are easy for crooks to steal from you, scam you out of, or just plain guess. To combat this, your main online accounts including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and your password manager apps can now be locked using a physical key. Think of it like a car key but for your iCloud, your Microsoft OneDrive, or your Google account. You’ll need two of these to get going, and you’ll want to make sure that your security keys will work with every device you use. Setting them up doesn’t take long, and I couldn’t recommend it more.

Bitwarden (Free)

If you’re not using a password manager, then what you need to know is it’s easier than trying to remember many passwords for many sites, it’s faster to set up new accounts, and it’s radically more secure. I’ve tested LastPass, OnePassword, NordPass, Keeper, Microsoft Authenticator, Dashlane, and iCloud Keychain, as well as the more common (and terrible) Chrome, Firefox, and Safari built-in systems, and a few others. The one I’m happiest with is Bitwarden. It’s got all the features you want including support in every browser and operating system, two-step login, and physical keys. While everything you need for a password manager is free, some features such as hardware key support require a $12/year subscription.

News & History

Risky.Biz Podcast and Newsletters (Free)

I’ve been a fan of Risky.Biz for years. Security journalist Patrick Gray and CyberCX’s Adam Boileau do a weekly podcast breaking down the latest news across the digital security landscape with wit, insight, and entertaining levity. You can always count on Adam Boileau to break down the technical side in a way that’s approachable to the layman, and Patrick Gray does a fantastic job keeping things in context to make it understandable and interesting. They also offer free email newsletters if you prefer your news in your inbox.

Darknet Diaries Podcast (Free)

Jack Rhysider creates this free podcast, capturing adventures from the world of cybersecurity, from hackers and the like, with an emphasis on telling fun stories that anybody can understand, all while learning about the world of security. These episodes are all extremely approachable, as Jack does a great job of pausing the action to explain anything technical in a way that would make sense no matter your background. For anyone curious about cybersecurity, this is a great place to start.

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Author Details

Cullen Thomas's picture

Author Details

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas is a senior instructor at iPhone Life. For ten years as faculty at Maharishi University, Cullen taught subjects ranging from camera and audio hardware to game design. Cullen applies a passion for gadgetry to answer questions about iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple cloud services; to teach live classes; and to specialize in the privacy and security aspects of the Apple ecosystem. Cullen has dual degrees in Media & Communications and Literature, and a Masters degree from the David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts.

Offline, Cullen designs videogames with Thought Spike Games, writes fiction, and studies new nerdery.



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