Holiday gift ideas for paranoids

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In so many ways, Black Friday is an inescapable evil of cosmic proportions. It is a creeping cloud of want, pulling us resentfully toward deals that we know tempt us at our peril. The advertising boogeymen who have stalked, harassed and victimized us all year rub their fetid little hands and lure us toward pleasure (cool new gadgets) and pain (security threats, privacy demons, pocketbook hangovers).

There is a way to be Black Friday’s clever Final Girl: Do not partake in privacy or security negligent practices, and study the traps laid by companies who care more about bottom dollars than putting you at risk.

Remember How to Adult at Security and shop securely: If a store or website wants you to install an app to make a purchase, they’re asking for your data (and private info, like your address book) in exchange. Stick to shopping methods you know and trust. Log out of apps and sites you don’t want to track you while you shop.

Choose safe, secure tech toys and products from trusted companies. Sure, it’s an extremely cool new fitness tracker, but is it sending your spouse’s data to third-party companies? Yes, I want the amazing robot sex toy too, but is it from a sketchy startup you’ve never heard of whose required-membership website hasn’t had a security audit? What could go wrong? Everything!

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