Watching for watchmen: Privacy group sets-up online resource

Tutorials help protect encryption beginners from criminals and snooping corporations

"Modern technology has given those in power new abilities to eavesdrop and collect data on innocent people," says the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). To counteract this, the non-profit digital rights group has created a resource for safer online communications that it calls Surveillance Self-Defence.

This resource is split into three categories: overviews, tutorials, and briefings. The overview is a useful starting point for beginners. It explains what encryption is and what metadata does as well as providing tips on creating strong passwords, keeping your data safe, and carrying out a risk assessment, ie what private or personal data do you have online or on your desktop, who do you want to keep it safe from, and what is the worst that could happen if this data should fall into the wrong hands.

The site also provides tutorials for setting up encryption known as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) for secure email to avoid spying by cybercriminals, government or corporations, recommending Enigmail, GnuPG, and Mozilla Thunderbird. When it comes to data protection, better safe than sorry.