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Tips and Technology

Jackie McGoey

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Work harder and smarter with these tech items.
Two is better than one

Two is better than one

When it comes to staying safe on the internet today, two-factor authentication is a must. Protect yourself from data breaches and hackers with Authy. The security app allows you to set your accounts to require time-sensitive codes — called tokens — when you log in. The app is easy to install and enable on all your favorite sites, but if you do run into trouble getting set up, the Authy website offers helpful tutorials for PayPal, Dropbox, Gmail, Uber and more. Authy works even when you’re offline, and a convenient backup feature encrypts your data in case your devices are lost or stolen. Free, authy.com.

Privacy, please

Privacy, please

A simple and inexpensive way to prevent unauthorized access to your devices’ webcams is to cover them with Elimoons Webcam Cover Slides. An alternative to the Post-it notes you may already be using, these tiny covers discreetly protect your security and privacy when your cameras are not in use. Simply apply, then slide open and closed as needed. They won’t interfere with the function of your devices, and the nano gel adhesive provides a strong hold that can be removed damage-free. $4.99/three-pack, amazon.com.

Swipe right

Swipe right

Release yourself from the confinements of a QWERTY keyboard. Using just four fingers, you can remotely control any of your Bluetooth-connected devices with the Tap Strap 2. The wearable keyboard, mouse and air gesture controller operates in three modes that are activated automatically based on the position of your hand. Aside from being a cool piece of futuristic technology, the Tap Strap 2 can also help alleviate wrist, back and neck pain. Supplementary learning apps TapAcademy, TapGenius and TapAloud teach the ins and outs of tapping through practice games, speed tests and tutorials. $199.99, tapwithus.com.

Desk-to-go

Desk-to-go

Work comfortably from home sans an actual home office with the Homfa Sofa Laptop Desk. Sustainably made from bamboo, the lightweight yet sturdy desk offers a spacious 16-by-24-inch work surface and a unique Z-shaped design. $69.99, myhomfa.com.

Ditch the dull

Ditch the dull

Boring, monotone offices are a thing of the past. Personalize your desks, file cabinets and bookshelves with BLIK Surface Skins. The cooler cousins of contact paper, surface skins are decorative self-adhesive decals that can be applied to large surfaces to bring a colorful dose of graphic art to your space. They are durable and laminated to protect surfaces from spills. Choose from 31 designs, which vary from classic (White Marble) to organic (Trees) and graphic (Oversee). Available in four sizes that can be trimmed to fit as needed. $35+, whatisblik.com.

Mood lighting

Mood lighting

Research proves that color can impact many areas of our lives, from our sleep routines at home to our productivity in the workplace. Wyze Bulb Color color-changing smart bulbs offer more than 16 million colors and temperatures to create the perfect atmosphere for various daily activities and events. Blue hues enhance wakefulness and increase focus, greens create a sense of calmness, and yellow tones evoke creativity and happiness. Control the light show using the Wyze app or through a voice assistant and take advantage of smart features such as vacation mode and custom preset creation. $34.99/four-pack, wyze.com.

Connectivity made easy

Connectivity made easy

Wouldn’t it be great if all your apps and devices could seamlessly talk to each other? Now they can with IFTTT. Standing for “If This Then That,” this website and mobile app lets you build automations, called “applets,” between more than 650 apps, services and smart home devices — no coding required. The possibilities are endless with IFTTT, and personalization is the name of the game: Add New York Times bestsellers to your reading list, get alerts when a stock drops below a certain price, sync Google Drive with Dropbox, upload new Stripe customers to MailChimp lists and more. Upgrade to the pro version ($3.99/month) and unlock features such as unlimited custom applets and customer support. Free, ifttt.com.

Multitasking master

Multitasking master

Extend your laptop to two or even three screens with the Mobile Pixels TRIO Portable Laptop Monitor and save time clicking through multiple tabs. Using magnetic adhesives and clipping mechanisms, the TRIO attaches to your laptop to offer increased options for viewing and presenting with its 280-degree rotation. Compatible with 13-to-17-inch laptops. $299+, mobilepixels.us.

 

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