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Practicing Digital Safety in India – Kaarana – Medium

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Kaarana community has put together a primer on digital safety in India to understand and minimise threats to your digital life by securing your key digital tools.

Are you an activist defending human, social or cultural rights? Do you rely on digital tools and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp for collaborating or organising efforts? Are you a journalist with confidential sources and information to protect? Or are you a citizen who doesn’t want their accounts and/or devices to be at risk of compromise?

It is not paranoid to be worried about the safety and integrity of your data and communications in our current times, and, as the recent arrests of lawyers, activists and others have made clear, standard police operating procedures includes the seizure of phones, laptops and electronic storage devices, along with demands for passwords of online accounts, for resources such as email, social media, etc., in order to gain access to private conversations and personal information of those arrested.

Minimising threats to your digital life and securing yourself online is an ongoing process, and while one cannot secure their digital footprint in every way, all the time, it is indeed possible to take steps which greatly minimise threats to both security and privacy — offline as well as online. It is absolutely CRITICAL , if you believe that you may be at an increased risk for seizure of devices due to the work you do, that you take steps to protect your digital security immediately, so that if/when the police show up demanding access to your devices — you are covered.

This is a basic guide that breaks down the process of securing your digital communications and devices in various scenarios, including where they may be confiscated, illegally retained or threatened with destruction. This process also ensures that in such scenarios there is minimal loss of your communications and data and that you continue to remain in control of it.

We list down some of the rights you as a citizen are entitled to and advisable action which you should take when faced with seizure of your devices and/or demands for your account credentials.

Please take some time to invest in knowing about basic digital safety hygiene and practicing them to protect yourself online. Keeping up with security and safety in digital world is an ongoing process. While we would be updating the guide, we encourage you to contribute by raising an issue at https://github.com/kaarana/digital-safety

You can download the recent version at

https://github.com/kaarana/digital-safety/blob/master/media/revision-3/rev_3_digsafe.pdf

https://archive.org/details/rev_3_digsafe

The document is under CC0 license / Public Domain and Kaarana doesn’t provide any warranties about safety after following the practices.

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