Great gadgets don’t have to be expensive. These 3 favorites protect your phone, your privacy and your photos.

Reminder: if you purchase an item by clicking on a link below, “What the Tech?” receives a small commission. The item itself doesn’t cost you any more than you’d pay at Amazon.

The CSlide Webcam Cover protects you from strangers watching you while you work. It happens. Hackers can access your computer and the webcam to spy on you. Log-on to a public wifi network and you increase your chances of someone watching you through the web camera without knowing about it. There’s a reason Facebook CEO and others in the tech industry cover their webcams with a piece of tape.

The CSlide Webcam Cover is better than a piece of tape. It attaches to a laptop computer with sticky tape that can be removed without leaving any residue. You won’t want to remove it though. It’s very thin high-grade plastic that doesn’t look too bad. Although it is black the color doesn’t look terribly out of place on a silver computer. The webcam cover blocks the camera and when you want to record video or connect with someone over video online, just slide the cover back. The CSlide Web Camera is $9 on Amazon, you can also pick up a 3-pack for $15 that will also work on phones and tablets.



There are hundreds of smartphone cases and mounts and grips. From magnets to knobs to suction cups to velcro. Some of the most popular mounts not only help you keep a better handle while taking a photo or browsing the internet they might also connect to a mount in a car’s air conditioner vent.

Thing is, I haven’t found one of those mounts that I like. Knobs prevent the phone from fitting in my pocket. I had just about given up before I found the Love Handle. This smartphone grip is an elastic grip that connects to the back of the phone or a case with a strong adhesive. You keep a hold on the phone by slipping a finger under the elastic. I’ve found it to be the perfect grip because it has a low profile and easily fits in my pocket. I can’t say that about any other grips I have tried. I do not know what will happen if I took the Love Handle off of my case and whether it might leave a sticky substance because I don’t plan on removing it. A word of advice if you’re using a phone that charges with a charging pad: watch where you attach the Love Handle so it doesn’t block the charging attachment.

The Love Handle is $10 and comes in different colors to match the phone. They’re universal, meaning they’ll work with any phone or tablet.

Do you run out of room on your phone because of all the photos and videos you just can’t delete? No one wants to delete something and then learn it isn’t saved somewhere else. But no one wants to have that moment when you’re about to take a priceless photo only to see the warning that there’s no space left on your phone.

The Bolt Data Traveler from Kingston is a good solution. This memory stick is made especially for smartphones and plugs into the lightning port on iPhones and iPads.

To use the Bolt, plug the hard-drive into the lightning charging port. It’s the same size as other USB sticks you’re familiar with. There’s also a companion app which detects when the Bolt is connected to the phone. You’ll be prompted to download all of the photos on your phone onto the Bolt which can then be plugged into a computer to make transferring the photos and videos easy. You can also do this in reverse, or loading the phone with photos you’ve saved on a computer. The Bolt comes in 32gb, 64g and 128gb which would hold somewhere around 8,500 photos.