XR Tech: Secure Communications for Rebellion
With the introduction of Telegram for broadcast messages and spot polls at bigger XR actions, you may have wondered if it’s Ok to use Telegram for anything else.
Telegram, WhatsApp, Apple iMessage, Facebook Messenger, SMS/MMS messages, mobile voice calls, FaceTime audio and video calls, Zoom and Skype are not secure and should NOT be used for sensitive communications.
Can I use messaging apps and video conferencing for NON-sensitive communication?
Yes. However, we recommend all sensitive conversations take place on Signal. In particular, conversations to do with planning, AG’s, A&L and Coordinators.
When not using Signal, rebels are encouraged to move to Signal if the conversation is likely to become sensitive. Please make space for rebels to freely raise this concern.
What is considered secure?
Signal and ProtonMail to ProtonMail emails are considered to be secure by Information Security professionals. They’re both free to use on Android and Apple smart phones and Windows and Mac computers.
Important: Always ensure your apps and phone/computer software are up to date by running the software update service on your device.
Tips to further improve security:
- Turn on the Disappearing Messages feature in Signal.
- Enable Screen Lock in Signal.
- Enable PIN Lock and Auto Lock for Android or Apple, in the ProtonMail apps. Use 8 digits, or more.
- Don’t use biometric locks such as fingerprints or FaceID for apps or phones during actions. Use alphanumeric codes for your phone lock using 8 characters, or more.
Are other Email services secure?
No. Other services may market ‘security’, only ProtonMail is trusted.
What about sending and receiving emails between ProtonMail and other email services?
Emails sent from a ProtonMail mailbox and received at a ProtonMail mailbox are secure.
Be mindful the following examples are not secure. Gmail has been used below, but Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo, iCloud, BTinternet etc etc, are also not secure.
- Gmail to Gmail
- Gmail to ProtonMail
- ProtonMail to Gmail
Are my voice calls secure?
No. You can make secure voice calls using Signal. Service may be patchy if networks are congested and speeds are poor. In this case, switch to Signal messages.
Is video conferencing software secure?
No, none of the free software is secure.
What if I use a traditional non-smart phone?
It is not recommended to use non-smart phones for sensitive conversations, neither texts or voice calls.
What about portable computers?
It’s not recommended to take portable computers to any action. Smart phones are portable computers, so first consider not taking it to an action. If it’s necessary to take one, lock down your phone before attending. If possible, use a ‘burner’ phone with a ‘burner’ SIM card. For further guidance, check out our Phone Lockdown document about ‘burner’ phones and SIM’s and general information about securing your phone. Check out the Laptop Lockdown document about securing your computer.