Protecting Information in the Field

  1. What devices should their team members use, and
  2. What applications should their team members use.
Approaching a checkpoint on the outskirts of As Salamiya, Syria.

The ability to communicate is the key to safety

Establish a baseline level of security for your devices

  • Setting a passcode (ideally an alphanumeric passcode)
  • Enabling full-disk encryption and firewalls (for laptops)
  • Installing and using a VPN
  • Installing and using secure browsers
  • Installing and using a password manager
  • Installing and using secure messaging applications
  • Installing and using secure email applications
Routine checks at a checkpoint in Syria.

Use clean devices where necessary

Practice strict compartmentation

Practice good security hygiene

  • If you don’t need regular access to an application, either delete it and reinstall it when you need access, or access the application via a browser.
  • Delete emails and messages once you’ve read them.
  • Enable the ‘disappearing’ messages feature in messaging applications.
  • Regularly clear your browsing history, cookies and site data, and cached files and images (if you can, set this up so data is cleared when you exit the browser).
  • Delete your call history (not a complete solution, but will help to avoid problems at checkpoints).
  • Consider erasing and restoring your clean phone after each trip or after specific activities.

Carry the minimum

Consider how to communicate information

Have a plan for handling hard copy information

Avoid attention

Wandering the streets of Beirut.

Ensure your persona is congruent

Remember that activities are information

Avoid checkpoints whenever possible

Inside a military checkpoint in rural Syria.

If you are stopped, keep it together

Be mindful of your online activity

Document organisational policies




Founder, Spartan9.

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Grant Rayner

Grant Rayner

Founder, Spartan9.

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