As an LGBTQ+ organization, you interact with many different types of people each day: your staff and volunteers, other organizations, and your members (among others).
Here’s how to keep your communication safe(r):
WhatsApp, an application that is owned by Facebook, is a great solution for communication, but still collects information about you. We suggest you switch and use Signal or Telegram: they are free and open source apps that encrypt all of your messages, don’t charge any expensive international SMS fees, and support voice and video calls. Signal and Telegram have other handy security features such as the option for messages to be automatically deleted from both receiver and sender after it is viewed
Use two-factor authentication for your email to prevent people from accessing your personal data and communications. Learn more about two-factor authentication here.
We also recommend that you access your email using a tool called Thunderbird. It allows you to send, receive, and store emails. You can just login to your existing email account via Thunderbird to get started.
Why do we think it’s a great option for email?
Thunderbird protects you from email scams (for example, it warns you when you click on a link which appears to be taking you to a shady link!). It also supports the Do Not Track option. This means that when you open email messages sent by marketing firms, they will not be able to track your actions.
If you operate in a high-risk country for LGBTQ+ individuals, we recommend you take a look at alternatives to Skype. Skype is owned by a proprietary software from a private company, so its safety and flaws are harder to be independently vetted. Consider using Jitsi, an open-source video chat platform!
Via a Website
When using a website to contact people (e.g. contact form on a website), make sure that the URL in the bar begins with HTTPS:// rather than HTTP://.
When using websites, make sure that the URL in the address bar begins with https://. Note that https protects the content sent back and forth between you and the server, but not the fact that you connected to the website to begin with. To protect that, use a VPN.
Never handle private information in cybercafes, or when using a public wi-fi network in public spaces (e.g. airports).