Dear Internet user, today you are reading my first post on this site dedicated to themes which, for some (s), may seem intimidating.
Maybe, like me, cybersecurity interests you, that digital sovereignty stirs your curiosity, that the protection of data (and certainly those of your family) is at the heart of your concerns when you exchange info or photos a little personal.
Help, I’m scared
Indeed, like some awareness linked to our way of life, you have also realized that if you went organic in your diet to avoid pesticides on your plate, it is not to continue to swallow dozens of bitter tasting cookies when you go on Facebook to see your mother’s petunias…
So, you would like to clean up your digital life but you don’t know where to start? How to act without revolutionizing everything? How to continue to interact with a wide variety of audiences (from addicted to new technologies to your aunt who types on the keyboard with just a finger) without losing your ecosystem but without finding yourself exposed by the villains GAFA* ?
My advice is simple: I am like you, I am slowly but surely cleaning myself up. Therein lies my secret: in progressiveness. It’s not after more than a decade of unlimited, parachute-free surfing that we’ll turn everything into a snap. Cleaning up your digital life is a bit like the first time you cook tofu: if you miss the recipe, you really won’t want to start again …
To start, we are going to put some order in the management of social networks. In recent years, we can only note that the border between private and public use of networks has sharply melted. It is for this reason that we must remain vigilant because the risks of identity theft, harassment and false information are even more marked by the mix of these two areas.
A good sweep
First, you can start sorting through all the apps you no longer need. Do not hesitate to make a good cleaning, even with those that you keep in case … and which are never used. Before uninstalling the app, consider deleting your account and recovering your data.
Then I advise you to change your passwords. We are all the same, to have put the same password for all our networks because we do not have an exponential memory and that the lower case letters + capital letter + a number + a special character + your favorite pizza ended up coming to end of our patience in our busy lives. Either you take the plunge and you opt for a password generator (and in which case you have the congratulations of the jury) or you play it shy and take it all over manually, quietly with a notebook and a pen (# à lancienne). If the app or the social network offers it, go to double authentication. Cybersecurity is safer and if your children play with your smartphone, it can always avoid nonsense ?
In addition, many networks offer you to create an account by attaching it to your Gmail or Facebook account for example. I see you from here, relieved at the idea of escaping a new password to remember … but no! If this may seem practical, it is above all the door open to access rights to your data. However, it would be a shame to spoil the security work that you have just started. Not to mention that in case of hacking you greatly facilitate the work of the hacker (not sure that this is the goal).
Parameters under the microscope
If not in the settings, adjust the visibility of your personal information. Keep in mind that, by default, this data is often public. For example, you can choose to leave your Instagram account public but reserve the option to leave comments only for your subscribers. In the same way, you can prohibit the sharing of stories, history to keep control of your publications.
As you can see, it’s not about being all black or all white but finding the right balance in what works for you. And above all, try to apply the same policy for managing your settings on all the networks where you are present.
Start on your way, it’s the right time to sort: there will certainly be publications that you do not want to leave ad vitam aeternam on the web, photo albums that no longer have any real interest in being shared, opinions that we would have preferred to keep for ourselves … So oust, clean it up for me, make backups but also research in the archives of the social network. The categories “media” and “archives” can thus be full of more or less nice memories but which do not really have their place in the memory of Twitter and the like.
Do we know each other ?
We all agree that social networks are a wonderful tool for meetings and exchanges around the world or even in your town; they allow the best … but also the worst. Do you really know all your contacts? Are you certain of their “quality”? Networks create sociological bubbles apart in our way of communicating and in our perception of a certain reality (the one we want to show us). Also, be wary of subscribers or people you don’t actually know. There are a number of scams taking place via these media, whether it involves hacking, illegal reuse of your content, or financial scams. Do not hesitate to “google” the person or an account if you have any doubts.
Ditto for the applications offered via your Facebook account, Insta etc. Some apps, such as games, require access to certain data or functions on your smartphone that are rather surprising and absolutely not necessary for the proper functioning of the app. In which case, be reasonable and go your way. Generally, only install official apps.
Be connected but not too much
Most social networks allow you to see the active sessions of your account, for example your Gmail account notifies you when it has detected a connection to an unusual IP address. Pay attention to its information, it can allow you to realize a usurpation of account or a hacking for example.
Also, be careful when you connect to the WiFi network of a public space. This is a privileged moment for the clever little ones who sometimes have fun foolishly hacking your account or, more serious, who take the opportunity to steal your bank details when buying a train ticket at a station for example. Ditto with social networks if you make purchases via certain apps. In which case, if you move regularly and you are a fan of public WiFi, use a
VPN (Virtual Private Network) : the latter will act as a firewall. In my opinion, it is the essential tool for any self-respecting digital nomad ?
This is a first step in the middle of cybersecurity and the protection of your data in our essential social networks. We realize that in the end it is not that complicated, at worst a bit time consuming but nothing prevents you from proceeding step by step.
Above all, talk to your loved ones about the simplest but above all the most reassuring gestures to guarantee them proper use of networks in complete safety. Good practices are shared ?
So tell me, what are your tricks in place to secure your digital life?
*GAFA : Google Apple Facebook Amazon