Welcome to the Digital Safety Manual

This guide contains 12 cards with information and practical tips on enhancing digital security for embassy staff working with civil society and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs).

Each card provides items to consider and protection tactics relating to an aspect of digital security. It is important to note that contexts vary across countries and change over time due to the dynamic nature of digital developments. This guide should be accompanied by a regular analysis of context and risk, on- and offline.

This website offers software recommendations and external resources as well as a glossary of technical terms in addition to the information on the set of cards.

The Digital Defenders Partnership developed this guide.

If you are not sure where to start: begin at the beginning, and work your way through the cards. Happy reading!

Assessing Digital Security Needs

Step by step

These cards detail different threats and means of protecting sensitive information, to ensure secure and successful engagement with civil society. This card will help you decide which cards are most relevant in your situation.

Firstly, what is sensitive information? Think of sensitive information as any information which, if it fell into the wrong hands, could have negative consequences. Many types of sensitive information, such as personal data, are protected by legislation. Still, it is highly recommended to protect all of your data.

Are you certain you are covering the basic essentials of information security?
Are you concerned that the authorities may be monitoring your online activities?
Do you often work from outside the office, and travel with your devices?
Do you offer financial support or engage in projects with civil society organisations?
Are you connected to civil society via social media, or are you considering this?
Do you use Dropbox or similar services to share data with HRDs?
if SO, then see cards
Do you use WhatsApp, Facebook, or commercial email to communicate with HRDs?
Are you operating in an environment where targeted malware is used to attack or spy on journalists or human rights defenders?