Avid readers get excited about the best, new tablet. Early adopters wait in line for hours in front of the Apple Store to purchase the next version of the iPhone, and game enthusiasts are elated when a new console hits the market. Simple technology that has more practical applications isn’t as aggressively promoted. Check out these two behind-the-scenes tech safety tools.

ZapStrips

An identity crime is committed every two seconds in the United States. While 2014 brought many major security breaches to large corporations, the fastest growing cyber crime is identity theft. The good news is that technology has made big strides toward bettering personal identity protection.

Identity theft is not limited to stolen credit cards or the hacking of a bank account. Medical identity theft has been on the rise, too. Inventions like ZapStrips are lowering that statistic immensely.

You may have heard of dumpster diving, scavenging trash for useful or valuable items. Sifting through the trash is an easy way for thieves to steal your identity, through sensitive documents, mail and even prescription bottles. Thieves can lift the prescription bottles that have been thrown away to use the information contained on the labels for illicit gain.

ZapStrips is a new ink-erasing technology that completely removes your identity information from the prescription bottle. It’s incredibly easy to do: take one of the strips, peel it back, wrap it around the prescription bottle label, stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds on high and everything disappears. Your doctor’s information, the pharmacy name, all of your personal information, phone numbers, and prescription numbers are completely wiped, leaving a brand-new blank label to recycle or throw away.

It’s not just medical theft; any kind of identity theft can devastate your quality of living. Financially, you could find yourself in ruins if someone gets your PIN number, your account number(s), even your Facebook profile login information. Paying closer attention to your account balances is not enough, companies like Lifelock offer credit monitoring and tracking, in addition to scanning all aspects of your personal profiles 24/7. Combining financial and medical security protection ensures your safety and gives you the peace of mind in knowing that your identity is being safely guarded by professionals.

The Sleeve

In light of the mass school shootings that are occurring around the country, the necessity for better school security protection has increased substantially. Daniel Nietzel, who is a teacher in Muscatine, Iowa, came up with an idea after going through a non-successful active shooter training session.

The teachers participating in the session were being instructed on how to make sure a shooter could not get into the classroom while in the building. They were told to tie a cord or belt to the closer arm of the door, thereby disabling it from being opened from the outside. The task was easy enough to implement, but the steps and time it took meant the person in the role of the active shooter got through the door anyway.

Enter The Sleeve: a lightweight carbon-steel case that will fit around the door’s closer arm, making it impossible to enter the room from the outside. The concept behind this successful invention is quick and easy application in the middle of an emergency situation. An added plus makes it so that a teacher does not have to go out to the hallway to lock the door from the outside. The Sleeve can withstand up to 550 pounds of force and would make it virtually impossible for anyone to get in.

The patent is pending, but the device has already been fitted for all classrooms at the Muscatine Community College.

About Lori Cline

Lori Cline is an accomplished award-winning writer who specializes in tech and gadgets, as well as beauty and women's wellness. She lives with her daughter in the western United States.

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"The 2 Best Inventions in Safety Technology" by @ShellyPalmer

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