Gadgets to keep your private life (and prized possessions) secure

Fend off nosy neighbors, curious co-workers, and anyone else who tries to pry into your stuff.
27” computer privacy screen and anti glare protector
Ivation Amazon

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Privacy in the home
Because not all of your personal life fits inside a vintage chest. James Sutton via Unsplash

Privacy is important. Just this week, another data breach occurred affecting airlines and banks in the Europe. While things such as malware are a problem and you should know how to remove it, you should also make sure your non-digital self is equally as protected. If you’ve got papers that need shredding, information that needs safe keeping, or evidence that needs disappearing, this list of gadgets will help you stay under the radar.

Ice Cream Lock

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Some secrets are darker than others. If you eat one scoop too many and don’t want your roommates to find out, lock up the evidence. This Euphori-Lock Ben & Jerry’s pint protector is a two piece security system that comes with a pre-programmed three digital combination. $36.

Computer privacy screen and anti glare protector

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These 27-inch screen protectors limit how the viewing angle of your computer screen. If a snoopy coworker is trying peek at your screen from beside you, they will only see black. Safely shop for underwear during work or enter your passwords without worrying someone will hijack your Netflix account. The screen sheet protects the screen from dust and scratches, also reduces glare, which makes it easier on the eyes. $85.

Laptop webcam cover

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I’m always nervous about sitting in front of my laptop just in case someone is watching. Not that I’m doing anything particularly embarrassing, but everyone around me is anxious about it, so now I am too, I guess. With a webcam cover, you don’t have to rely on sticky tape. Just slide the cover over when you want to use the camera. $6.

Invisible ink markers

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The ink in these markers—which writes on everything from paper to skin—is only visible under UV light, so if your note gets intercepted, the information is still safe. The set comes with three markers and one keychain UV light. If only we had these in middle school. $7.

Journal with combination lock

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Your diary—or journal if you insist on calling it that—is an area for self-reflection, whimsical thoughts, or place to complain. The Something Personal journal comes with a combination lock that keeps your diatribes between you, yourself, and the PU leather covers. The journal comes with a pen holder and has 160 pages. $25.

Padlock with a fingerprint scanner

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The Tapplock One+ is great for a shed, gym locker, or any other container full of secrets (or, you know, tools). The weatherproof smart padlock holds a charge for a year, so you don’t have to worry about it dying on you, and features a built-in fingerprint scanner that you set up through an app on your smartphone. Instead of having to remember a combination, place your finger on the scanner and it unlocks in about 0.8 seconds. The lock has an adaptive algorithm that gets quicker and more accurate the more you use it. It’s also perfect for families or a business, since you can store up to 500 separate fingerprints and allows you to share Bluetooth access from far away. If the fingerprint scanner isn’t working, you can use the app on your phone to unlock it or input a programmed morse code using the power button. A red LED blinks on the front of the lock when the battery is low. Charge overnight and you’ll get another full year of battery life. The shackle is made of a 7mm reinforced stainless-steel. $99.


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Keep your locker, book bag, or bedroom door intruder-free. This Desired Tools weatherproof, four-digit padlock allows you to set your own combinations to something you won’t forget. That way, your dirty laundry can stay your dirty little secret. $12.

Smart Lock Pro

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And, of course, there’s the lock on your front door. This device lets you lock and unlock your door via an app on your smartphone. It also automatically opens when you return home based on your phone’s GPS. You can give temporary access to friends and family and you can verify that, yes, you actually locked the door even when you’re two hours into your road trip. The August Smart Lock is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Echo and must be used with the August Connect hub. One of the best parts: the August Lock installs directly over your existing deadbolts. $232.

Blackout blinds

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Blackout shades are a must-have if you want to keep your home activities—naked yoga! Excessive Bachelorette watching!—private. Passenger Pigeon’s blinds are available in most window sizes and come in 13 colors. The roller shades are waterproof, too, so they can be mounted inside or outside of the window frame. $51.

Phone privacy screen

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Ever been on a train and thought that someone was reading your text messages? Or are you that person staring over someone’s shoulder? Tisk tisk. Shame on you! The Tech Armor 4Way 360-degree privacy screen lets you keep your screen to yourself. It also protects against scratches and drops. $9.

Fingerprint safe

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This rugged fingerprint access safe by SereneLife can store up to 32 different sets of prints for multiple users and comes with two keys for emergencies. Feel free to lose a thumb. The front door is made of a reinforced solid steel and has two steel locking bolts. $115.

Digging shovel

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If you’ve run out of room in your storage locker, get creative and make some in your back yard. The Fishers long handled digging shovel has a sharpened blade, is a welded 14-gauge steel blade attached to an 18-gauge steel shaft, and is 57.5 inches long. Ya dig it? $25.

AmazonBasics Portable Security Case

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The TSA-approved AmazonBasics Portable Security Case boasts a no-pry steel shell and is small enough to keep tucked inside a carry-on or briefcase while traveling. It won’t protect your briefcase from being stolen, but you can make sure nobody meddles through your jewelry, passports, or extra cash. The case is 9.5 inches long, 6.5 inches wide, and 1.8 inches tall. It weighs 3.1 pounds, features a lock made of a zinc alloy, and includes a durable steel cable to lock the box down. $22.

Paper shredder

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Whether you are shredding old tax returns or incriminating photos, a jam-proof paper shredder can save a lot of time. This shredder rips through 16 sheets of paper and turns it into 397 cross-cut slivers. It shreds everything from staples to CDs and can run for 20 minutes before it needs to cool down. It comes with a six-gallon waste bin underneath. $162.

Hide your valuables in a fake Campbell’s soup can

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Hide your emergency cash in a fake Campbell’s Soup container to keep snoopers out. A plastic panel on the bottom detaches so you can easily store any valuables. I got the Spam container for Christmas, but don’t tell anyone. $11.

Da Vinci Code Mini Cryptex Valentine's Day Box

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Keep your Valentine’s Day gifts secret with a Da Vinci Code Cryptex. It’s basically just a password-protected mini-vault that looks like a prop from a movie. You can set your own password. $52.

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Billy Cadden

Senior Director of Commerce

Billy Cadden is the Senior Director of Commerce for the science, tech, and outdoor group at Recurrent. He began working as the Commerce Editor at PopSci in 2017, where he spent 5 years diving deep into every product he could get his hands on. Cadden splits his time between Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, and Woodstock with his dog Wanda. He spends his time seeking new coffee shops and writing for his solo music project