Learn about using secure communications.
- Wecure communication basics
- What to do if you believe your communication channels have been compromised?
- Using secure communications tools
Secure communication is always a trade-off between security and convenience. When communicating there are different levels of security. This section focuses on protecting the content of your communications.
Choosing the most appropriate form of secure communication will depend on your unique situation, your threat model and the activities in which you are involved.
If you are actively surveilled, for instance, you need to focus on many more aspects regarding your safety and the safety of the people you communicate with.
A communication tool that provides end-to-end encryption (such a PGP-encrypted email, or chat with OTR or Textsecure on your phone) is better than using a tool with transport-layer encryption (such as Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter).
Anonymisation is another component of secure communications. Anonymisation tools hide the sender and recipient of a message and will protect the identity of the participants in a communication.
In your communications are compromised, case you have to consider the consequence for yourself and your contact to reveal information about the emergency.
Stop using the communications services/accounts that you believe are compromised immediately. Create a new account and remember not to re-use your existing usernames, passwords or email accounts.
Unless your threat model includes surveillance by very well resourced governments such as the USA, the UK, China or many governments listed in Google's transparency report, using Google products may afford you a degree of protection.
Google tools (especially using Google tools on Chrome) can significantly increase security in these situations, and gives you access to more secure email, chat and voice/video conferencing.
This security only helps 'inside' Google, i.e. Gmail to Gmail or Gchat to Gchat. It offers less protection if anyone forwards this information outside of Google, or a different email address then Gmail is added to a Gchat discussion.
An alternative to Google is Riseup, a volunteer group working to create democratic alternatives and practice self-determination by controlling our own secure means of communications. They offer services such as Gmail and Gchat.
It is important to note that Riseup does not have the resources of Google. That said, depending on your situation, Riseup may be more appropriate.
For end-to-end security, there are many tools with strong encryption you can use. Here are a few recommendations:
Pidgin (PC) and Adium (Mac) allow you to chat securely, with end-to-end encryption using OTR. Here is a guide to installing Pidgin with OTR.
Jitsi can be used both for text chat as well as encrypted voice and video. Use this guide to set it up. You can create an account for a secure voice/video call for free.
PGP (PC and Mac) allows you to set up end-to-end encryption for your email. Tactical Tech has developed a detailed guide for using PGP with Thunderbird on your computer.
Tor Browser Bundle can be used to increase your security and privacy while visiting websites by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world.
For detailed instructions on using the Tor Browser Bundle, refer to the Using the Internet Anonymously lesson.
For detailed instructions on communicating safely on a smartphone, refer to the Safe Phones section.
What is gitbook used for?
Is it quiz?
- en/topics/understand-4-digisec/1-encryption/1-1-intro.md: Understand encryption
- en/topics/understand-2-security/1-your-security/1-1-intro.md: Learn more about your security
- en/topics/tool-2-signal/0-getting-started/1-1-intro.md: Using Signal for secure messaging