You can always expect to see a bunch of gift and shopping guides pop up in the weeks, even months, leading to Black Friday and Christmas season. Even Mozilla has released its own take, but instead of making it a list of products to buy, the organization has compiled the most popular gadget gifts and identified which of them are secure and trustworthy. It’s called Privacy Not Included, and it will tell you if a particular device can spy on you using its camera, mic and location services.
The guide also includes various information about the devices’ security features, and those that meet Mozilla’s minimum standards are recognized with a badge on their page. Mozilla awarded the badge to 33 products (out of 70), including the Nintendo Switch, Google Home, Amazon Echo speakers, Apple TV/iPad, Sony PS4 and Microsoft XBox One.
To earn that badge, the device has to use encryption, have automatic security updates and require users to change its default password. Its manufacturer also has to manage security vulnerabilities with tools like bug bounty programs and must be easy to contact when it comes to reporting security flaws. You’ll find all those details in each product’s page, and we encourage you to look at them before making a decision instead of relying on the guide’s emoji indicators, which are supposed to show how “creepy” a device is. Those emoji rankings are based on people’s answers to the question “How creepy do you think this is?” and anybody could answer however they like even if they don’t know anything about security.