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Give smarter and safer this holiday - Gift Giving Guide

safe gift giving guide You may find yourself reaching for the same, tired gifts this Christmas. Cozy sweaters for mom, new golf balls for dad and a bestseller romance for Aunt Jane will make them smile.

But what if you could give the gifts of saving and security?

Our fraud and financial experts have put together a wish list of technology that can save you money and protect your accounts in the new year. Even better, they don’t all break the bank.

Mobile AppsShop safer with a smartwatch

Available in an endless array of colors and styles, smartwatches allow you to pay quickly wherever Google Pay™, Samsung Pay™ and Apple Pay® are accepted. They’re designed to be more convenient than carrying your card, but did you know they’re safer, too?

Apps like Google Pay don’t store your debit or credit card number or share it with stores. Instead, when you wave your smartwatch over a terminal, the app processes the transaction with a unique code, or token, in the place of your account number.

Security experts do advise that you limit permissions for the apps downloaded on your smartwatch. By limiting access, you limit the information available to hackers if they ever infect your watch with spyware. It’s also a good idea to install security software on the phone paired with your smartwatch.

Is your home smart?

HELOC - KitchenMost people know that smart thermostats can save money, but what about a device to help you avoid costly repairs?

A leak detector may be a gift you want to buy yourself. Leak detectors, many affordably priced, are easily installed anywhere unwanted water could be an issue.

If water touches the sensors on the device, it emits a loud sound. Newer versions with WiFi also send an immediate notification to your phone. Finding a leak quickly could save you hundreds in water damage repairs.

Where is my …. ?

We all know someone who constantly loses their keys or phone. With Tile, find lost objects up to 200 feet away just by pushing one button.

Tile comes in Sticker for that remote that’s always lost, Slim for those who lose their wallet, the versatile Mate that attaches to just about anything, and the Pro version with an extended range of 400 feet.

Featuring easy setup and low starting price point, Tile can attach to valuable items, saving money when you can find them instead of replacing them. Give Tile to elderly loved ones or young children to help when they lose their devices, wallet or even a cherished stuffed animal.

Plug into energy savings

Do you have a loved one who’s always turning off lights or taking about high energy costs? Make saving easy for them with a smart power strip.

Unlike traditional surge protectors, smart power strips completely shut off power from electronics not in use, preventing them from becoming “energy vampires.”  Plug in devices that go unused for long periods of time — like your television, home computer or other entertainment devices during the day — and you can save money on your energy bill.