3 things activists can do to strengthen their privacy and security

Privacy news
1 min
Megaphone with encrypted messages coming from it.

This article was originally published on September 6, 2019.

Plummeting press freedoms, stifled internet access, attempts to subvert encryption, and plenty of other indicators point to a budding reality: Government institutions are getting better at undermining the fundamental freedoms of speech, privacy, and security of citizens.

As someone who has spent most of his life fighting for human rights in countries that oppress them, Front Line Defenders’ Mohammed Al-Maskati has to be careful how he communicates online.

In a recent interview with ExpressVPN, Mohammed Al-Maskati outlined the three most important things all activists should be doing to protect themselves online. For further reading, we added links to our guides that are good starting points for better online privacy and security.

Change your behavior towards technology

“The most important thing I’d say is to change your behavior toward technology. Technology is not the same as ten years ago, there’s more information out there, and we’re putting it out there. So it’s about putting out less information because we leave our footprints everywhere. We need to reduce that footprint.”

Teach everyone else to secure their communications

“Secondly, teach everyone surrounding you. It’s not enough that you’re secure and everyone around you isn’t, because those around you become the leaks. Your family, your colleagues, your partner, everyone. They need to know the basics of digital security, and they need to understand how to apply them.”

Update everything

“Not just the programming, but also your knowledge. What’s happening in the digital era of technology is happening every day. We need to update ourselves, at least weekly, on these things. Part of what I do at Front Line is collect everything that happens during the week and send it to all the human rights defenders, listing everything they should know in a newsletter. I normally refer to The Hacker News, Motherboard, Security Affairs, and Hack Read.”

Read the full interview with Mohammed Al-Maskati.

Ceinwen focused on digital privacy, censorship, and surveillance, and has interviewed leading figures in tech.