Are you a regular person? Frustrated and scared but don’t know what to do to help?
Here’s one thing you can definitely do, even if you’re just a "regular" person.
Especially if you think you’re "just" a regular person.
Encrypt all your online communication. Starting immediately. Whether you need to or not.
Here’s why: Right now, a whole lot of communication on the internet is absolutely not secure. Most of it is about as private as a postcard.
In a sea of postcards, an envelope stands out.
Help us make it a sea of (electronic) envelopes, so those who need encryption don’t stand out.
For secure(ish) messaging:
Get a GPG key and encrypt and sign all your email. Lifehacker’s guide is still good; just know that Enigmail is no longer needed with Thunderbird – it can handle it all without an extension. The TL;DR: Use Mailvelope if you must use webmail, Thunderbird with GPG for desktop email.
Messaging: The key thing that you want is "end to end encryption" (the message stays in its "envelope" until it gets to the recipient), and a service that doesn’t go through an advertising company. Open source is preferable. While there are arguably better technical solutions (E2E P2P XMPP over Onion, probably), the best "drop-in" solution for the general public right now seems to be Signal. Signal can do encrypted VOIP phone calls as well.
For even more things you can do to protect yourself – and help protect those who are taking part in more direct activism – see the next post.