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Advocates and human rights defenders are increasingly concerned about their digital security, and with good reason. While computers and the internet can be extremely powerful tools for advocacy, they also present new risks for a group that is already, in many cases, quite vulnerable. As more advocates have begun to rely on digital technology to achieve their outreach, data-collection, information design, communication and mobilisation objectives, these risks have become more severe.


If you are an advocate who focuses on sensitive issues, or somebody who works closely with one, you have no doubt experienced or heard stories about digital security and privacy threats. Computers and backup drives that were confiscated, passwords that changed mysteriously, local websites that were hacked or overloaded by malicious Internet traffic, foreign websites that can no longer be accessed and emails that appear to have been forged, blocked, modified or read by someone other than the intended recipient. These are true stories, and many of them are set in an environment that makes matters even worse, an environment in which computer operating systems are frequently out-of-date, software is often pirated and viruses run rampant.


Security in-a-box provides explanations of, and solutions for, threats like these. It was created by a diverse team of experts who understand not only the conditions under which advocates work, but also the resource restrictions they face.


Although this toolkit is designed primarily to address the growing needs of advocates in the global South, particularly human rights defenders, the software and strategies in this toolkit are relevant to digital security in general. It has something to offer anyone who works with sensitive information. This may include vulnerable minorities, independent journalists or 'whistle-blowers', in addition to advocates working on a range of issues, from environmental justice to anti-corruption.


"I have used Security in-a-box it to train my colleagues in internet security and also to protect myself from monitoring when I am deploying online direct actions. I plan to use this for more such trainings in the future."

Environmental activist, Community Environmental Monitoring, India


Security in-a-box is available online in English, Spanish, French, Russian and in Arabic. You can also buy copies from us.



We support advocacy events with free, or reduced price, copies of Security in-a-box in all the languages. If you are organising an event or training and would like to apply for a microgrant from us, please fill out this form.


 This toolkit was created by Tactical Tech and Front Line. It was first published in 2009. All the content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.