If you’re the “techie” of your family, you’re probably going to be bombarded by tech support questions over the holidays this month. If you want some simple tech gifts to offer up to the family that will make their lives a little easier going into the new year, here are a few suggestions.

Drop everything and put Google Photos on their phone

Before you do anything else this holiday season, put Google Photos on every phone you can access in your family this holiday. Whether they’re iPhone users or Android users, there’s a good chance their photos aren’t backed up, and if they happen to break their device over the coming months, showing them how Google Photos works now will be something they’ll never be able to thank you enough for.

Google Photos is available on Android and iOS for free.

google photos app

For the love of all that is holy, get your parents a password manager

Earlier this month I spent a few hours helping my father get a new iPhone at a local Verizon store, and during that time I remembered something — my parents are not very good at passwords. Whether you want your family to get a little more secure and start using unique passwords or you just want to give them a secure place to write everything down, a password manager should absolutely be at the top of your list this year.

LastPass is my personal recommendation here since the service is completely free with an optional paid tier. 1Password is also an excellent choice that has a low monthly fee and a 30-day trial, too. If you ask me, a password manager is pretty much the best tech gift you can give anyone in your family.

Give the gift of no ads and music streaming

Who doesn’t hate ads? With YouTube becoming as popular as it is, it’s a great gift to give your family no ads and music subscription with YouTube Premium. The service costs $10/month, which means you can buy a gift card with the amount of your choice to cover the subscription for a certain period of time.

Save everyone some money with Rakuten

Online shopping is more popular than ever, and you can score some killer deals on various sites. So how about some cashback along with it? I started using Rakuten earlier this year, and it’s already saved me over $50 on just a handful of tech purchases with a few percent cashback here and there. It’s a great service to show your family. You can sign up here.

Set up their Google Opinion Rewards for the gift of free money

Speaking of free money, you should probably go ahead and show your family Google’s Opinion Rewards app. As long as they’re alright with actually knowing how closely Google tracks their location, it’s a good way to earn a little bit just for quick surveys. For Android users, it offers Google Play credit, which can be used for apps, and even Stadia games while iOS users — somewhat unfairly, I might add — get actual money delivered via PayPal.

Google Opinion rewards credits

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Ben Schoon

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