24 Digital Spy Tools To Capture, Protect, And Secure Data

April 19, 2008 – 7:31 PM

Back in the ’60s, when the spy craze first hit, would-be snoops had to satisfy their desire for spy gear with products like 007 cologne and aftershave, when what they really wanted was the bug Bond hid beneath the bumper of a quarry’s car, or the greenscreen mapping device mounted in the dash of his Aston Martin.

We’ve come a long way, spy babies!

Today there’s a mini-industry in spy and spy-like surveillance, monitoring, tracking, and disguising equipment and gear, and any number of retailers specializing in the stuff.

Clearly, a lot of the gear is intended for law enforcement and security personnel. Not for nothing do many of the products and Web pages cited here include warnings about privacy rights and legal restrictions on their use. Pay attention! Some of this gear can get you in a lot of trouble if used improperly or illegally.

But many have serious consumer and business uses, from security monitoring to data-theft prevention, to tracking kids’ driving or Web surfing habits.

Sadly, some of these uses are headline-making: Nanny-cams, for instance, have exposed more than one case of abuse.

But before we get too serious, some of these tools are just plain cool, and some just plain silly. None of them — we can all but guarantee — will turn anyone into the next James Bond.

And, while we’re not advocating that you use any of these tools to watch over your employees (or business rivals, or speeding children or straying spouses) and certainly not to peek into your competition’s secret files, we recommend that you be very familiar, and careful with the laws and regulations regarding their use.

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