Through several key questions, we give you tips and tools to better secure your devices and protect your personal data, regardless of your device or OS.
Google, Microsoft and Apple offer location systems to find your lost devices. This still requires your devices to be turned on and connected to a network. Otherwise, you’ll get their last location.
The Locate My Google Device feature isn’t the only solution of its kind, but it is one of the most effective. It gives you access to the following tasks: to display the position of your device, to ring a lost device, to lock it or to erase its data.
To use it, go to google.com/android/find to locate all of your Android devices that have been set up with your Google Account.
At Apple, the Locate application can locate all Apple devices, including an Apple Watch or Apple AirPods Pro, as indicated. Like Google’s feature, you can also view the location of your devices at icloud.com/find.
For Windows 10, Microsoft has also set up a similar tool that you will find at this address: account.microsoft.com/devices. Remember to activate this option on your device to enjoy.
Another basic rule is to change the PIN code. Many of us still leave the default code, namely 0000 or 1234. Similarly, avoid very simple codes, such as 3579. More than 700,000 smartphones are stolen on average in France each year. It’s in your best interest to make it harder for potential thieves.
Finally, lock your smartphone, e.g. with a diagram or fingerprint. It’s just common sense if you don’t want other people to access your content. Afterwards, a scheme (template) may seem convenient, but it is not as secure as a 6-character PIN code, a strong password or a fingerprint.
Note that these tips are also valid on iOS, and therefore iPhone, but also on any device, including a PC running Windows 10.
It’s advice as old as the Internet. It is important to use complex and different passwords. Numerama has created a folder to explain you how to create a complex and memorable word.
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One of our tips is to use a password manager that can generate complex passwords, store them securely and automatically log you in to certain services.
The problem therefore lies in the choice of the ideal solution to adopt, as there are many offers, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. We recommend 1password, LastPass or Dashlane. You also have Bitwardenwhich is open-source and free. You can also use these solutions to encrypt your notes and documents.
We have written a comparison of different password manager solutions.
Dual authentication has become essential to properly secure accounts containing personal and business data, such as on Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon or PayPal.
Unfortunately, it is little used when it is not mandatory. This is because it is often binding on users. Yet it is one of the most effective ways to secure your accounts and services.
It adds, in addition to the password, a new authentication step, such as a message with a code, the use of a security key or an authentication application. If someone tries to access your account after hacking your password, it should normally be blocked by confirming your identity, which will take place on your smartphone.
We’ll help you: we’ve grouped together the direct links to enable dual authentication on all major services.
It’s still basic, but too many of us still don’t back up our data: contact lists, but also photos for example. We have listed a number of backup solutions, which you can find at this address.
On iOS and iPadOS, you can enable iCloud backup, which is very efficient. We also advise you to double backup your photos using Google Photos or Amazon Photos.
More generally, you can use cloud services or simply back up your data on physical media.
We have published a buying guide dedicated to storage media, but also a comparison of the best external SSDs: they are compact, light and relatively accessible.
All OSes allow you to encrypt stored data, it is an effective way to protect your data, but it is not the only one. Apple has introduced default encryption since iOS 8, while this was imposed by Google on Android Marshmallow (but available since OS version 3.0 Honeycomb). Obviously, this is also the case on Windows 10 and MacOS .
Encryption is the process of protecting your data with a uniquekey so that it cannot be read by a third party. By analogy, we can think of encryption as a safe in which all the data that we want to keep confidential is stored. Access to its contents requires de facto the key to the safe deposit box. Encryption is not tamper-proof, but, if used properly, can be strong enough to discourage someone from trying to break it.
Numerama has devoted a dossier to encryption on Android and iOS. The algorithm used by Apple’s encryption engine is AES 256 (for Advanced Encryption Standard). On Android, it depends on the manufacturers, they can use different methods depending on the OS version but also on the components of the smartphone.
We therefore strongly advise you to activate encryption, but be aware that this will have a rather limited impact on the performance of your device. Personally, I have disabled encryption on macOS, because I don’t store sensitive files on it.
Things have changed a lot in 10 to 15 years in computer science. Whether on Windows 10, MacOS, iPadOS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS… Updates are more frequent and often include small patches and security updates. On Android, Google also deploys monthly security updates.
Hackers often take advantage of an outdated software or device to exploit a security flaw.
It is therefore important to keep your OSes, applications and connected objectsup to date. Basically, anything that can be updated. We therefore advise you toactivate the automatic update systems (apps and system)that exist on all modern OSes today.
Not a week goes by without a security company mentioning the presence of malware on Android. More often, these reports and other studies come with a few reminders that (rightly) the security solution (of the person who commissioned the study) is useful and advisable. However, Android is – by its very nature – more secure than a desktop computer. You do not need antivirus or anti-malware, especially if you follow the tips above.
Firstly, Google’s platform has the ability to detect known malware when downloading an app, but also afterwards. In fact, Google is working to deploy patches through Google Play Services, without having to update your system.
More broadly, Android has built-in security features that significantly reduce the frequency and impact of application security issues. The system is designed to allow developers to build their apps with default system and file permissions, thus avoiding potential security concerns. Moreover, it is this authorization system that limits the effectiveness of antivirus and other anti-malware. CQFD.
On the other hand, one of the interests of these solutions, which cannot be taken away from them, is that they put forward most of the basic rules of this article, and in a personalized way. Which is a good thing in itself. But don’t forget that security is not so much about software as it is about behaviour, and it is up to you to adopt the tools we indicate to protect yourself from the various risks mentioned.
On iPhone, Mac or iPad, it’s all the same, you have nothing to do except follow the advice in this folder.
You probably remember the days of Windows XP: it was totally inconceivable and unconscious to wander the Web without antivirus. Things haven’t changed much on Windows 10, with one exception. Microsoft’s OS includes its own antivirus called Windows Defender. There are alternatives, some of which are worthwhile, but Microsoft’s native tool is now efficient enough that you don’t have to bother installing a third-party solution.
For Windows 10, we therefore recommend that you enable Windows Defender.
There are two main interests in the use of a VPN by individuals:to bypassgeographic filtering by using via a VPN an IP address from another country, andto better protect itsanonymity on networks by masking its real IP address and encrypting the information sent.
The VPN is not in itself an absolute protection – in fact, there is no such thing as absolute protection – but it is a technique that is easy to implement and that improves the confidentiality of data exchanged on the web, particularly on public networks.
The choice of your VPN will depend a lot on the use you want to make of it. If you want to access the Disney+ catalogue you will be looking for a high-performance VPN, at the risk that it will protect your data less. On the other hand, if you travel in a country where the web is censored and where certain uses are forbidden, you will be moving to a VPN that doesn’t record your traffic and won’t give your information to governments… even if it means surfing a little slower.
We advise you to consult our comparison of the best VPNs.
Firewall or firewall, there was a time when installing firewall software on Windows was necessary, as it was the first line of defence for a user against threats from the Internet.
The firewall is a hardware or application that filters outgoing and incoming connections to and from your computer. The firewall is located between the user and his applications on the one hand and the internet connection on the other.
Windows Defender Firewall
You may not know it, but you are already protected by a firewall, the one in your cubicle. And often a second one, the one on your Windows 10 PC. We therefore advise you to activate the firewall on your Windows 10 PC to increase the security of your machine. The firewall is therefore important, but not indispensable.
On Android and iOS, both OSes already have options to limit internet access to applications. It’s enough of a security tool.
Rooter or jailbreaker his device is taking the risk of leaving doors open. Indeed, these two words ultimately mean the same thing: getting very advanced permissions to access your system that you don’t necessarily need.
This may allow you to install some features, but it is no longer as useful, and it is mostly not recommended. Our advice: Avoid getting into it, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
We’re not going to lecture you, if you want to download, just do it. Another day we’ll talk about the economy behind mobile applications and games, and especially the independents and other studios that make a living from them. If we advise you to avoid downloading hacked apps anywhere, it is simply because they very often contain malicious code.
Overall, avoid downloading APKs from outside the Play Store and from an external source unless you are completely sure of the origin of the file. Indeed, these files can be faulty. However, if you don’t want to or can’t go through the Google Play Store, take a look at our list of the best alternatives to the Play Store.
The advice is the same for MacOS and Windows 10: avoid downloading programs or games from unknown sources. For iOS and iPadOS, Apple has more locked its system, it is very difficult to do without the App Store to download an application.