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You move? Your data too!

Is our data more at risk of being compromised when it comes time to move?

It’s part of a regular cycle of managing our personal information and digital hygiene. It depends in particular on the risk model of each and every one of us.

But moving is stressful, because you don’t necessarily understand all the implications it can have, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. This is a golden opportunity for thugs, whether it is phishing, misrepresentation or even malicious service providers.

The move is therefore a time when it is important to inform yourself and to be extra vigilant about the repercussions of what you have done and what you are going to do, as much for the technology as for your personal information.

What are the risks to our data?

Preserving the same information for your Internet network can pose a security risk. People who have already had access to this wi-fi will still be able to connect to it, even at the new address, unless the password or other parameters associated with it have since been changed.

I am thinking in particular of cases of harassment, where the person has not changed the information on his network for several months, and a malicious individual finds the person, because his smartphone has automatically connected to wi-fi. The individual can also use this access to gather more information about the potential victim.

Special attention must also be paid to the risk of fraud; for example, to a malicious email or text message falsely from Hydro-Québec that could indicate that your electricity service will be cut if you do not fill in such or such personal information.

It can also be someone claiming to represent Bell or Videotron and going door to door, then collecting your information, especially your credit card information, for a big discount.

What are the preferred approaches for connected objects?

If there are smart objects to leave behind, make sure to reset them to factory settings to eliminate all traces of personal information, even permissions granted to apps paired with the service on smart phones. .

very colorful illustration of everyday objects that can be connected.

A cybersecurity specialist advises resetting the connected objects that we leave behind when we move.

Photo : iStock

This goes as much for a smart lock, a washer, a dryer, a surveillance camera, a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home, or a thermostat like Google Nest.

For tenants, it’s even more important if some of these items are under the owner’s control, because it’s good to know what happens to your information when the items fall into their hands.

To tell us that we have nothing to hide is utopian.

A quote from:Vincent Tremblay

The same principle applies for a borrowed car, for example a moving truck, to which you have connected wi-fi, paired Bluetooth to the smartphone and left contact information or GPS points of interest.

What steps can we take to protect our data?

One of the tips I give is to change your address through official tools, like government websites and banks.

You should also remember that if you are asked for something that you did not ask for, you can demand proof. You can also validate the statements by contacting the organization directly and not through the people who approach you.

Ask questions, get informed, verify the information; it’s important and it’s part of good digital hygiene.

A quote from:Vincent Tremblay

Change your wireless network password with a strong key; thus, avoid codes such Videotron123 or COVID-19.

Finally, also make sure that the wi-fi of your new address is configured with the latest level of encryption (WPA2 or WPA3) compatible with the devices you use.

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