Resources: Privacy Protecting Software Tools


You can find our full, printable handout on privacy-protecting tools here.

Here it is in bullet form:

Secure your passwords

Protects against: financial theft; identity theft; online harassment; communications monitoring…pretty much everything

Avoid being “phished”

Protects against: theft of credentials/data by someone pretending to be a legitimate party

  • Easy:
    • Don’t click on links or open attachments from suspicious emails
    • Verify suspicious emails with the purported sender

Communicate securely

Protects against: interception; impersonation; wiretaps; tech companies getting subpoenaed

  • Easy: Install and use Signal (encrypted chats and voice/audio calls)
  • Medium: Verify Signal contacts’ “safety numbers”
  • Advanced: Set up PGP for email, or pay for ProtonMail

Securely share documents

Protects against: lost devices; hackers accessing devices or storage services; tech companies getting subpoenaed

  • Easy: Pass around an encrypted flash drive (e.g., Kingston DataTraveler)
  • Medium:
    • Share as “notes” in a password manager (as an attachment to the note, if necessary)
    • Encrypt folders with VeraCrypt, then share on Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
    • Send as a Signal attachment (one-time, one-to-one/one-to-many sharing of individual files)
  • Advanced: OnionShare (one-time, one-to-one/one-to-many sharing of files/folders)

Secure the data on your devices

Protects against: theft, loss, or confiscation of computers, phones, or disks containing sensitive data

  • Easy: Enable lock screen passwords & set devices to lock when idle
  • Medium: Encrypt your computer, phone, or tablet’s storage (“full-disk encryption”)
    • iOS, Windows, & Mac: enabled by default
    • Android: can be enabled, but it’s less secure

Other protections to consider