Are you really safe on the internet?

A text from Karl-Philip Valley

"We really wanted to build the book so that it was for Mr and Mrs everyone," says Letellier. [Notre éditeur] wanted us to write for our aunt and uncle who have no idea what we are doing. It is a part of the population that often lags behind in digital security, but it is just as important for them. "

The book, which was launched on Wednesday, deals with many topics, from the responsible use of social networks to the exploitation of human behavior by pirates. A chapter is even dedicated to the hidden web – the famous deep internet.

For each topic, the authors explain what it is and why their understanding by everyone, including the general public, is essential for the safety of all users of the internet.

Three basic safety tips

Anne-Sophie Letellier proposes three basic habits to make her daily life safer on the internet:

  1. Make religious updates. "It's the most universal thing and the least applied – an attacker is much easier to abuse vulnerabilities in something that's not up-to-date than in something that's the basis of everything."
  2. Check the security of his passwords. "Use a password manager with a very secure password – something long, random and easy to remember, and what we recommend is to choose four unrelated words."
  3. Do not connect to open networks. "Why? Because the traffic is not encrypted, if I really have no choice to connect to it and I do not use VPN, it's not really a good idea to do banking."

Nothing to hide, really?

In addition, those who believe they have nothing to hide may be more interested in the advice of groups like Crypto.Québec, according to Anne-Sophie Letellier.

"Certainly, they have things to hide," says Letellier. We are not aware of everything we say about ourselves on the internet. There is everything we know we publish, but there is also everything we do not know, such as metadata, that can say a lot about ourselves. Often it makes people blush. "

Why should the standard be: "I have nothing to hide"? Why should not we ask the opposite question: "What do I want to show?"

Anne-Sophie Letellier, co-director of communications for Crypto.Québec

Privacy against terrorism, a sterile debate

The concepts of computer security and privacy, in addition to being sometimes obscure, unfortunately also suffer from an image problem, estimates Anne-Sophie Letellier. She explains that the authorities often use the terrorist threat or criminals to justify burglaries in the privacy of people.

"There are many players who are interested in being more transparent, whether they are companies that benefit economically from Facebook or Google, or governments that work hard to marginalize encryption and practices," says Letellier. Terrorism is often blamed, but in fact the government uses it much more often to access trade secrets and to spy on militant groups. "

Anne-Sophie Letellier is co-director of communication for Crypto.Québec. Photo: CBC / Karl-Philip Valley

This expert emphasizes that the weakening of security measures in the name of the fight against terrorism also opens the way for pirates.

A matter of laws

That is why the Crypto.Québec team, of which it is a part, is fighting for stricter privacy legislation in Canada. "The standards set here are not enough – Canada's Privacy Commissioner has been saying for years that the law on the protection of personal data and electronic documents is no longer up-to-date."

Canadians must advocate rules that are similar to those that came into force in Europe this year. "Europe has set the best standards [avec le Règlement général sur la protection des données]says Anne-Sophie Letellier. I do not see why this type of regulation would not be the minimum we should keep. "

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