Resources to Protect Yourself Online

Below is a select list of information and articles about how people can help protect themselves online from privacy invasions, surveillance, and tracking. Please contact law enforcement if your or someone else’s life is being threatened or is at risk!

Some important suggestions include:

  • Turn off location services, especially on your smartphone.
  • Don’t post your home address online.
  • Cover your computer’s, tablet’s, and smartphone’s webcam.
  • Encrypt your computer’s hard drive.
  • Download your computer files to an external hard drive and store in a secure physical space.
  • Weigh the pros (convenience) and cons (hackable) of storing your files on the cloud.
  • Enable password protection on your smartphone.
  • Use Signal or WhatsApp, free, encrypted instant messaging applications.
  • Use two-factor authentication for email and social media accounts (activate two-factor authentication on gmail here).
  • Use different passwords for each online account.
  • Choose strong passwords for your accounts.
  • Use a password manager.
  • Use Tor to protect your online privacy and defend yourself against network surveillance and traffic analysis.
  • Install Tails to use any computer without leaving a trace.
  • Install Privacy Badger, a browser add-on that prevents advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where users go online and what pages they surf.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide your physical location (see VPN – What, How & Why for an explanation about what a VPN is and how it works; see Choosing the VPN That’s Right for You for what to look for in a VPN; see Best VPN for US citizens to avoid the NSA and FBI for specific VPN suggestions )


A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity Offers a “Cheat Sheet” to quickly get started protecting one’s online privacy. Offers a list of tools to use.

Are You Being Harassed Online? A detailed flowchart by TrollBusters, an organization that provides just-in-time rescue services to support women journalists, bloggers and publishers who are targets of cyberharassment.

Best Practices for Conducting Risky Research and Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment Data & Society is a research institute that focuses on the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development. The document focuses specifically best practices for academic researchers.

Online Privacy Guide for Journalists 2017 Recommendations for how journalists can protect their sources and data, created by the former deputy chief editor of Haaretz. The information is useful to the lay public as well.

Protect Yourself: How-to guides and resources for protecting your privacy in the age of mass surveillance Freedom of the Press Foundation offers how-to guides and resources for protecting one’s privacy in the age of mass surveillance.

Security-In-A-Box Digital tools and tactics created by the Tactical Technology Collective and Front Line Defenders to meet the security and privacy needs of human rights defenders.

So You’ve Been Doxed: A Guide to Best Practices A guide created by Crash Override, a crisis helpline, advocacy group, and resource center for people experiencing online abuse. Offers suggestions on how to evaluate doxing threats and what to do if one’s actually been doxed.

Speak Up & Stay Safe®: A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment A guide created by the non-profit Feminist Frequency to help keep people, especially women, people of color, and trans and genderqueer people, safe from individuals, loosely organized groups & cybermobs.

Surveillance Self-Defense A guide from the Electric Frontier Foundation to protect oneself from electronic surveillance. Offers tutorials and detailed guides for dealing with specific situations.

Without My Consent’s Something Can Be Done! resource guide Without My Consent focuses on the problem of the publication of private images online. Its guide provides information about evidence preservation, legal take down demands, and restraining orders, among other things.