Taking control of your digital security

To use digital tools securely, it is important to have knowledge of the threats involved and the right responses to adopt: this is what is known as “IT health”.

At home, on all your screens

To use digital tools securely, it is important to have knowledge of the threats involved and the right responses to adopt: this is what is known as “IT health”.
The first of these responses is to regularly update your IT system: hackers often end up finding the flaws in a system, and publishers further strengthen their programme's security with each update. This is followed by their choice of email system, software and browsers. In this area, this means downloading programs from publishers' official sites to avoid being hacked during the installation process. A similar logic is applied for document sharing services: prefer platforms with certified security.

In terms of protecting communications:

  • a password generator makes it possible to use a different password for each online service without having to remember them all;
  • double authentication can be activated on many email, social media or file sharing platforms;
  • personal data can be encrypted using specific programs;
  • several browsers offer features to surf the web “privately”, without leaving any footprint behind;
  • any doubts about a message you have received? Do not reply or download the attachment right away, and contact the supposed sender through another channel.

For financial transactions, particularly online payments, it is important to:

  • check that the site used for your transaction is secure (padlock displayed in the address bar or browser window, “https://” shown at the start of the site's address);
  • where possible, use payment processes that include a confirmation code sent by text message;
  • never disclose the confidential code for your bank card.

In addition to these day-to-day reflexes, there are many IT security products available for general consumers today. Orange offers standard antivirus solutions for internet access services, as well as more specific solutions such as antimalware solutions for Android phones.

Main security rules accordin to Orange France [FR]
Main security rules accordin to Orange France [FR]

At work

While each person instinctively wants to protect their own personal data, many people do not realize the level of vigilance that is needed for professional data. They are simply unaware of the range of opportunities open to cybercriminals to misappropriate them. However, the scale of the damages involved can be significant. “Having to resolve incidents as emergencies can be far more costly than preventing them”, confirms Guillaume Poupard, Chief Executive Officer of ANSSI. “Numerous measures that are open to non-specialists contribute to the business' overall protection”. While security issues in businesses are varied and very technical, some of the protection measures can also be used in your personal life.

In terms of protecting communications, effectively managing sessions and passwords ensures a baseline level of security:

  • respect the rules for choosing passwords and password length,
  • avoid pre-saving passwords in your browser,
  • do not save passwords in notebook or post-it files.
  • use safe software to back them up safely.

Encrypting communications is another solution chosen by many businesses: various software solutions are available on the market today that encode documents with a key enabling them to be encrypted and decrypted.

In terms of managing personal and professional data, some measures are important when the same devices cover various uses:

  • avoid connecting up to public and private platforms at the same time; for instance, hackers could hack your Facebook account to infiltrate a company intranet;
  • on smartphones, only install useful applications, check what data they can access before downloading them, and deactivate access for apps to personal data or features such as text messages;
  • do not transfer professional emails to your personal email;
  • do not host any professional data on personal equipment such as USB keys or smartphones;
  • when on the move, deactivate the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features on professional devices.

Lastly, some common sense is needed: avoid disclosing sensitive information on social media and regularly back up your most important data on external media such as a secure cloud or hard drive.

Having to resolve incidents as emergencies can be far more costly than preventing them...
Guillaume Poupard, Chief Executive Officer of ANSSI [French National Agency for Security of Information Systems]