InfoSec for Activists — Block 1

by | Jul 15, 2022

It’s hard staying safe online. 

Hacking, phishing, and other digital attacks are only increasing in number and sophistication every day. Shady companies have a million ways of gathering data from almost every app and website on the planet. Individuals have tracking technology so cheap and easy to use it makes the CIA blush. Many people never learned how to use computers safely in school, and even if they did, what they learned is probably out of date today.

For most of us, we can’t opt out of the modern world. So, what can we do to protect ourselves? There is help online, but it’s not always good.

There’s no shortage of guides that promise to help keep you safe online, but many of them are from companies selling you a product. There is nothing for sale here. Other guides, usually from nonprofits, are insufficient for a few reasons. I find they usually don’t provide concrete recommendations on what to do, or only cover one aspect of information security at a time, failing to give a complete picture. Comprehensive guides I’ve come across are far too lengthy or technical for a general audience.

I made this course about everything an average activist needs to know.

A guide to technology — for everyone

This course is broken down into concise chunks of lessons, organized in Blocks. Each lesson should take roughly ten minutes or less to complete, including interactive content. Further reading and sources are provided, but are not required to understand the course content. Blocks should take about an hour, and if you login, your progress is saved.

The guide assumes basic proficiency in technology. If you can use a smartphone, or are proficient enough at using a Windows or macOS computer to edit a document, this guide is for you.

I’m going to do my best to explain the technology concepts relevant to internet security and why they should matter to you. I hope that by the end of this course, you can both be more secure also feel more confident using technology.

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The journey of a thousand clicks…

This guide is as concise as possible, but technology is a huge, complex topic. This first Block of lessons covers the foundational, critical knowledge anyone with an internet-connected device should be familiar with.

Block 1 will cover the building blocks of internet security, and help you protect yourself from scammers, low-level hackers, and other bad guys who try to trick you into giving them something. We will cover a wider range of threats and technology concepts, in later blocks.


One more thing (before we begin)

Creating an account and logging in to socialism.tools allows you to save your progress, answer interactive questions to help you learn, and get fun certificates to show off (they’re not NFTs, I swear????). You can also mark lessons complete to track your progress

Thank you for reading, and if you ever have questions or concerns, hit the hot pink Chatwoot button in the bottom-right corner of the page and let me know. Here’s a question to get you started, then hit Complete Lesson to start the course and head to your first (real) lesson!

What’s one topic you’re excited to learn about?

Two-factor Authentication (2FA) Preview What is phishing? Preview Security Keys Preview What's a URL? Preview Ding! You've Got Psychological Warfare After you've been phished Preview

The above content is part of a course on socialism.tools. If you login, you’ll see quizzes and links to other lessons in the course.