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Announcing the Security Education Companion

DEEPLINKS BLOG
November 15, 2017
Security Education

The need for robust personal digital security is growing every day. From grassroots groups to civil society organizations to individual EFF members, people from across our community are voicing a need for accessible security education materials to share with their friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

We are thrilled to help. Today, EFF has launched the Security Education Companion, a new resource for people who would like to help their communities learn about digital security but are new to the art of security training.

It’s rare to find someone with not only technical expertise but also a strong background in pedagogy and education. More often, folks are stronger in one area: someone might have deep technical expertise but little experience teaching, or, conversely, someone might have a strong background in teaching and facilitation but be new to technical security concepts. The Security Education Companion is meant to help these kinds of beginner trainers share digital security with their friends and neighbors in short awareness-raising gatherings.

A new resource for people who would like to help their communities learn about digital security but are new to the art of security training.

Lesson modules guide you through creating sessions for topics like passwords and password managers, locking down social media, and end-to-end encrypted communications, along with handouts, worksheets, and other remix-able teaching materials. The Companion also includes a range of shorter “Security Education 101” articles to bring new trainers up to speed on getting started with digital security training, foundational teaching concepts, and the nuts and bolts of planning a workshop.

Teaching requires mindful facilitation, thoughtful layering of content, sensitivity to learners’ needs and concerns, and mutual trust built up over time. When teaching security in particular, the challenge includes communicating counterintuitive security concepts, navigating different devices and operating systems, recognizing learners’ different attitudes toward and past experiences with various risks, and taking into account a constantly changing technical environment. What people learn—or don’t learn—has real repercussions.

Nobody knows this better than the digital security trainers currently pushing this work forward around the world, and we’ve been tremendously fortunate to learn from their expertise. We’ve interviewed dozens of U.S.-based and international trainers about what learners struggle with, their teaching techniques, the types of materials they use, and what kinds of educational content and resources they want. We’re working hard to ensure that the Companion supports, complements, and adds to the existing collective body of training knowledge and practice.

We will keep adding new materials in the coming months, so check back often as the Companion grows and improves. Together, we look forward to improving as security educators and making our communities safer.

Visit SEC.EFF.ORG

a resource for people teaching digital security to their friends and neighbors

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