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A Parent's Guide to Tech Gifts and Online Safety This Holiday Season

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xavierarnau

Twinkling lights illuminating every house on the block; carols from the mall speakers; the aroma of gingerbread wafting through your home (even if it is a scented candle and not great-aunt Edna’s signature recipe). Yes, the holidays are upon us, and they truly are the most wonderful time of the year.

But did you know that the holidays are also a pretty wonderful time for online scammers and hackers? With the increase in online shopping, plus a slew of new electronic devices in the home courtesy of Santa, December is a favorite month for digital troublemakers — meaning you and your family’s information could be even more vulnerable this holiday season.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. For starters, now’s a great time to review online safety with your kids — rules like never divulging personal information to strangers (such as an address or Social Security number) and never opening attachments from people you don’t know. Beyond that, double-check the parental controls you have set for your household devices and be sure to add them to any new tech you purchase. And, finally, consider investing in tech solutions that take your security to the next level—after all, peace of mind that your online accounts and personal information is protected is one of the best presents you can give your family, right?

To that end, Scary Mommy has rounded up the best tech gadgets and gizmos to keep your family safe, sane, and entertained online this holiday season. Consider it our gift to you.

Aura

aura.com

Basic family plan starts at $12 month through December 25

Scammers might be working overtime this holiday season, but digital security is important year-round — especially to secure all of your new devices. There’s hardly a better service to protect your entire family online than Aura, an all-in-one digital security app that’s simple to understand and easy to use. Aura provides identity theft, device and fraud protection for all eligible family members. It will send you alerts when possible fraud or a compromised network (think: your Wi-Fi connection isn’t secure) is detected. And, if by some chance, you do become the victim of fraud, Aura offers a $1 million identity theft insurance policy to help recoup eligible losses and fees. Yep, it’s a gift good enough to make even Scrooge smile.

AHXLL Kids Blue Light Blocking Glasses

amazon.com

$10.99

No matter how much you try to limit screen time, kids always find a way. (And let’s not forget those many hours of remote learning over the past two years!) All that adds up to a ton of blue light exposure for those little eyeballs. Now’s the time to invest in a smart, stylish pair of blue-blockers to protect those peepers. The best thing about these cute and colorful AHXLL glasses is that they come in a convenient two-pack — because you know your little one is bound to lose at least one pair!

Pzoz Bear iPad Cover

amazon.com

$16.90

Speaking of kids and screen time, if you routinely hand over your iPad so they can while away the hours watching their favorite shows or playing games and you don’t have a protective case on there — what are you even doing? This Pzoz cover is basically the cutest thing we’ve ever seen (it comes in two colors: brown and pink) and is practical too, with big side handles and a kickstand in the back. There’s even an alphabet set incorporated into the design to help educate your household’s littlest learners!

Tile Mate

target.com

$24.99

Every family has that absent-minded grandfather, aunt, or husband who can’t seem to keep track of their keys, wallet, or bag. (Or perhaps all three!) The solution: a teeny-tiny Tile. This Bluetooth-enabled tracker can be affixed to any ring or loop and buzzed from your phone, emitting a sound to help locate the item in question. And if your valuables are outside of Tile’s sound range, the accompanying app will show you where they’ve been misplaced—saving your loved one valuable minutes and even dollars (after all, that lost wallet isn’t going to stay full of fives and tens—or credit cards—for long!).

VTech, KidiZoom Smartwatch DX2

walmart.com

$44.99

So your kid is begging you for a smart watch, but an adult smart watch is just a little too much watch? Get the KidiZoom Smartwatch DX2 for their stocking instead. This pint-sized timepiece lets them take selfies and videos, play games, and, of course, keep track of the minutes and hours, all without giving them unfettered access to the internet. In fact, photos stay safely on the phone until an adult uses the included micro-USB cable to transfer them over to a computer, preventing kids from sending them places they probably shouldn’t.

Mommy Power Stroller Hook

nordstrom.com

$39.99

A gift for yourself — or another parent in your life — this stroller hook not only holds up to 25 lbs but provides 200 hours of battery charge, meaning you’ll never be stuck on the go with a dead device again. If only there were a version that dispensed 200 hours’ worth of coffee to recharge your internal battery!

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