Many people believe that they are not worth spying on. There are many reasons to protect yourself and your community…
Digital Security for Everyone
This guide is designed for beginners and non-technical people with the aim of increasing security across our whole community. Please note that security is always changing so do some extra research yourself about recommended tools.
Also see: Security and tools for organising – created to strengthen Community organising and to support individual organisers.
This guide was produced and mostly written by Glenn Todd. Published October 2016. These resources are released free under Creative Commons. If they are useful or you use them commercially, please donate to support our work. Eye image by Jaime Pérez
Phil Evans interviews Glenn Todd of ActionSkills about why digital security is so important – Listen here: 4 Digital Security Steps Every Activist Must Take
They are looking for a needle in a haystack. Currently most of the hay is easy to search and therefore the needle is easier to find. If every straw is much more difficult and expensive to search, then finding that needle becomes a massive challenge. We call this Herd immunity and it forces the state […]
Security has many levels and protects you from different levels of spies. It is important to understand, the people more likely to target you are probably the least sophisticated. This means any improvement to your security will go a long way. Also, mass surveillance systems are not as sophisticated in comparison to targeted spying.
Don’t let Paranoia stop you organising
Although they come with risks, digital tools allow us to leverage our actions and communications in unprecedented ways. If we stop using the these tools due to security, we have lost before we have even started. Use the tools wisely. Some risks are involved but missing the big opportunities is a far bigger risk.
Convenience VS Security
Some security technologies can be less than convenient. Typing long passcodes into your phone and surfing with slower internet speeds via tor. It is up to you how much you balance security and convenience. Many security approaches and technologies do not impact on convenience so apply as many security lessons as you practically can.
The Snowden leaks has proven that encryption works and we can protect ourselves from spying. Encryption involves using advanced mathematics to scramble your data, making it impossible to access without your key (password) You can encrypt computers, phones, hard drives, folders and your communications.
High end security is very complex and can make using your technology less convenient. The aim of this guide is to implement good security and not perfect security. Unless you understand the technologies of a technical level, always assume your system is compromised and use your technology wisely. You may have perfect encrypted messaging but […]
Digital literacy – learn your technology
Computers have given us powerful tools that also need maintenance and management. Learning the basics of how your computers and phones work, will make you far more savvy in understanding digital security
Your data can be lost in many ways: Fire, theft, failure, arrest, loss etc. You can also lose data if you apply some security measures incorrectly. Make sure you have adequate backups before you start securing and encrypting.
Regular software updates
There is a constant loop happening in the IT world. Hackers find exploits in software and the software people patch them up. Make sure you apply the latest versions to all your software from operating system through to apps to websites to ensure you have the latest secure versions.
Research, install and keep updated to protect yourself from virus and malware which is a common way to hack you. AVG free is a good one to start if you are on PC
Encrypting is usually a simple matter of turning encryption on via your devices settings. By enabling encryption you make hacking your device either impossible or very difficult and resource intensive.
Weak passwords are a primary way to hack you. Simple passwords can be broken by a “brute force attack” where average computers have enough resources to crack them reasonably quickly.
Your location is being tracked and recorded via your mobile device. Many private companies are recording and selling this info. Many drone assassinations in the Middle East are targeted via the location of a persons mobile device.
You are being tracked, profiled and sold by many companies and your government. The good news is that there are many ways to protect yourself.
Setting up secure encrypted email is more complex than secure messaging.
Secure email can be simplified by your group using only one email service such as riseup or tutanota. This means the “end to end” (from your email to your friends email) encryption is managed by the browsers and the email provider.
Secure encrypted messaging is free and easy with apps like Signal and Telgram. Please replace your sms app with Signal (or similar) to contribute to herd immunity.
There are two major ways to buy things anonymously online. The first one is using Visa or Mastercard gift cards. These can be bought with cash at many supermarkets and at Australia Post. The other way is using the crypto-currency: Bitcoin. Please search for more information on the Bitcoin technology and how to use it.
Phones have become very complex and usually ship with dodgy settings out of the box so the first and most important rule about modern smart phones is DON”T TRUST THEM. Make sure your are geek street smart.
Here are some ways to improve your phone security.
Security culture is an agreement made by a group which outlines the minimum security, tools and security processes the group will use. This allow individuals to understand their personal risk as well as the risk to the group and the groups actions. Security culture also build the skills of members who are lacking in technical […]
Working securely online with a group requires a security culture agreement, risk management and secure online tools.
Phones and laptops in meetings
Microphones and cameras can be remotely activated without you knowing and can be switched on remotely. Good practice is to gather all devices and remove them from meetings. Even if they have dead batteries, this encourages good security culture. Some people place tape over their laptop camera because someone watching you remotely is creepy.
(In our context ) A database is a collection of information on people. A CRM (Client Relationship Manager) is a specialised database for managing people’s information, interactions and relationships with people. As database tools become more advanced, we are increasingly building up a lot of information so we need to pay special attention to privacy […]
So you want to be a ninja online? Like martial arts to be truly invisible online you need to spend a lot of time becoming an expert in the technology. There are no shortcuts to becoming a martial arts ninja but there are some ways to skill up without being a top level security geek.
A cryptoparty is an event where people with computer and security skills come along to help people who dont have these skills. So if you would like to learn some skills in person and get some personal help on securing your phone and laptop, this is the party for you. Visit the Crypto Australia website […]
There are plenty more guides to help you get secured. View our list of security links here https://actionskills.org/link/resource/security/