Digital Security

Start here

Pressed for time? Too busy resisting oppression or building a better world? Great! We suggest you start your security journey with these easy steps that everyone can take to make their digital life a lot less vulnerable.

  1. Embrace message hygiene: The vast majority of attacks arrive in your inbox. Learn how to practice appropriate caution when using email and messaging applications.
  2. Use a password manager: By using a password manager you can protect yourself from a large number of possible threats.
  3. Enable device encryption: Device encryption is easy to turn on, built into your operating system, and protects data stored on your device.
  4. Become a better browser: By changing your default web browser settings and installing a few extensions, you can dramatically improve the security (and pleasantness) of your web browsing experience.
  5. Run software safely: Keeping your software up to date is a simple thing to do and makes your system much less vulnerable.

Why security matters

The increasing importance of information and communication has brought with it another phenomenon: the rise of a surveillance society. You can think of surveillance as an attempt by the powerful to maintain their dominance by asserting control over communication.

Nation states have responded to new communications technology by pursuing an infrastructure that facilitates mass surveillance and can easily be re-purposed for total social control. Many governments also contract with unethical private corporations to track activists and break into their devices.

Corporations have discovered that the gathering and analysis of massive amounts of personal data is necessary if they want to remain competitive in an information-rich world. In particular, nearly all advertising is shifting toward surveillance-based tracking of our personal behavior.

Criminals have discovered that it is very lucrative to attack personal devices and cloud accounts to ransom data or blackmail the user.

In this context, digital security has become vitally important.

  • State surveillance has a long history of resulting in the repression of social movements.
  • Even indirectly, rampant surveillance has a chilling effect on social movements.
  • Corporate surveillance is just as serious as state surveillance. Not only can the massive amounts of data kept on internet users be easily re-purposed for direct state repression, but corporations are now on the verge of obtaining unprecedented power over consumers.

When people start to learn about the rise in surveillance they start to feel overwhelmed. Some decide that it is impossible to be secure, so they resign themselves to live under perpetual surveillance or to forsake all forms of digital communication. At Riseup, we believe there is a third way: our goal is to make a high degree of security easy and accessible for everyone.

Security overview

Type of security What is it? When is it useful?
Human Security Simple changes you can make to your behavior. Helps prevent human error from being the weak link in any security system.
Device Security Steps to make your computer or phone less vulnerable to attack. Useful to keep your device resistant to known attacks and whenever your device might physically fall into the hands of an attacker.
Message Security Ways to encrypt individual messages you send and receive. Required if you want to ensure the confidentiality of a particular message while stored and transmitted.
Network Security Blocking sites that track you and encrypting your internet traffic. Helps protect against behavioral tracking, account hijacking, censorship, social network mapping, eavesdropping, and advertising.

Also, check out security resources page for more links to security guides and activist providers.

Security Contact

If you need to contact Riseup about a security related issue with your Riseup account, or with Riseup itself, please send us an encrypted email.