The communications system (s) are more and more friendly to use. The barriers fall between the different applications. Everything becomes permanently connected. More synergies are found making these systems almost indispensable or at least they ty to make us believe that.
But in reality, the more barriers fall, the more it destroy the safety and bring great danger. So what to do?
I will talk about two ways helping you to keep you data safe. The first is the basis, applying as much as possible the principles of mistrust. With the second, it will be necessary to recreate separations between the different systems. Let’s see a little more in details …
1. The basic principles of mistrust, applied it to the Emails …
You must beware…
- … of mails from strangers, especially if you did not order anything or ask for anything …
- … of links to click, images or documents to download coming from unknown. But beware also of those coming unusually from known person, because they may have been contaminated with a virus and then sent to you without their knowledge …
- … of the unusual, the surprising
- … of the so-called security messages from banking, insurance, mail provider etc. If you do not have an account with them, this is, of course, a phishing attempt. If you have an account and doubts, look at the email address … is it really authentic? Or does it seem odd?
- …. of spams, these unwanted messages, commercial or promotional, that promise you miracles and end up “invading” your electronic boxes.
- … of scams, these messages appealing to your compassion and asking you for help or money.
2. Recreate and Maintain a maximum of separations
To protect my system, without depriving myself of the advances in technology, I chose to keep the various applications as isolated as possible from one another in order to avoid the gathering of personal data or the spread of viruses. Here are some solutions I have put in place.
Manage several mail addresses and thus several mailboxes
Having multiple email addresses allows you to decide which ones you give and for what reasons. For example:
- A main email address isolated from everything, for all that is private, family, banking etc …
- One for your online bookings, hotel, airplane etc
- One for the mobile phone
- Another one for newsletters
Use Webmails first
This mean that you should prefer to connect online to your various mail boxes, rather than synchronizing with your computer or worse your mobile phone. Thus, in case of contamination, your material and your data are preserved.
Prefer paper calendar for time management
When I was working in a company, the use of the electronic calendar to book rooms or call people to meetings was a necessity. But privately …. Birthday dates, family reunions, dentist appointments … are very well on a paper diary. I avoided by this phenomenon all grouping of personal data with e-mail addresses or correspondence.
Avoid creating your email address contact list
I also avoid the creation of email contact list within the email application. Thus, in case of contamination by a virus … no list can be used to propagate the virus.
Of course, if for you it is an imperative to have such a list, think to add a simple letter in front of it (for example: firstname.lastname@example.org) … enough to make the address unusable, except for you…
Process, print in PDF and delete your mails as you go
Especially with sensitive emails, treat them immediately and delete them. If necessary, keep a printed PDF copy that you classify elsewhere. Do the same with all your mails … It’s so much nicer to work with an empty inbox.
Use message forwarding from one email address to another, rather than synchronization between multiple devices
Avoid syncing your mails and other data between multiple devices. I know it’s tempting and so practical. Prefer it, bypassing or sending a copy to a chosen email address if you need to be able to view your mails throughout the day.
Here are some ideas for tips that will help you when setting up your personal security system.
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