July 10, 2014 | By Eva Galperin

NGOs Launch Digital First Aid Kit

When faced with a digital emergency—whether someone has hijacked your social media account or your website is being DDoSed—it can be difficult for non-technical people to discern what the problem is and what the appropriate next steps may be for seeking help. To help fill this niche in the universe of privacy and security guides, a group of NGOs ( including EFF, Hivos, Internews, VirtualRoad, and CIRCL) have teamed up to write a guide that combines advice for self-assessment with advice for “first responders” to help non-technical users all over the world identify and respond to their digital emergencies.

The Digital First Aid Kit aims to provide preliminary support for people facing the most common types of digital threats. The Kit offers a set of self-diagnostic tools for human rights defenders, bloggers, activists and journalists facing attacks themselves, as well as providing guidelines for digital first responders to assist a person under threat.

The kit begins by offering ways to establish secure communication when you or a contact are facing a digital threat and want to reach out for support. The Kit also provides sections on account hijacking, seizure of devices, malware infections and DDoS attacks. Each section begins with a series of questions about the user, their devices and their situation. These questions will guide them through a self-assessment or help a first responder better understand the challenges they are facing. Finally, the Kit lays out initial steps to understand and potentially fix the problems. The steps should also help users or first responders to recognize when to request help from a specialist.

The Digital First Aid Kit is not meant to serve as the ultimate solution to every digital emergency, but it strives to give users and first responders tools that can help them to make a first assessment of what is happening and determine if they can mitigate the problem on their own. 

Because this guide is a living document, The Digital First Aid Kit is available on github under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike International license. We encourage people to annotate the guide, fork their own versions, contribute feedback about advice that does or does not work, and make translations. 


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Lawmakers promised to tackle Section 702 reform next during USA Freedom markup. We'll remind them of those promises: https://eff.org/r.hts3

May 4 @ 10:13am

Heck no, @Evan_Low! Businesses shouldn't get to secretly record our calls. @ConsumerCal rings the alarm on AB 925: https://eff.org/r.12hv

May 4 @ 9:43am

Mayweather or Pacquiao? Regardless of who wins, Internet intermediaries are the losers: https://eff.org/r.qbeb

May 1 @ 5:09pm
JavaScript license information