Best Practices for Digital Security while Traveling to RightsCon


Whether you’re a human rights activist, a businessperson, a government official, a technologist, or an academic — digital security matters. And it matters even more as you cross borders, hop onto airport wifi, and use your devices around the world.

So as you make your way to RightsCon Southeast Asia in Manila, here are seven simple tips to help you travel more securely.

1. Back up your data.

The best way to prevent the loss of your data due to a lost, stolen, or crashed device is to backup your data.

2. Encrypt your devices.

In case you lose physical control of your device, you can make it more likely your data stays secure with full disk encryption.

3. Set up two-factor authentication for your accounts.

Two-factor authentication for your accounts ensures that even if your password is compromised, your account will still be protected. Always try to use the app-based two-factor authentication rather than SMS-based authentication, that way you can access your accounts even if you do not have cellular service. And remember to print out a few one-time passwords to keep in your wallet in case you are separated from your cell phone.

4. Download a VPN client or Tor.

It’s always good to have a VPN client or Tor available when you are travelling, in order to protect your network traffic on untrusted networks, like at airports or hotels. RightsCon will have a dedicated wireless network for your use, but it’s always better to be safe.

5. Keep your devices up to date.

A fully patched system has fewer known vulnerabilities, making it more difficult to compromise.

6. Once you arrive at RightsCon, feel free to bring any digital security questions or issues you may have to the Digital Security Clinic.

The clinic is run by Access’ Digital Security Helpline staff in conjunction with Frontline Defenders, Bytes for All, Tactical Tech, Internews, and other partners. The Clinic will run throughout RightsCon for all your digital security needs.

7. Check out these other helpful resources.

If you have any questions regarding these preparations or if you would like assistance preparing for RightsCon, please contact our Digital Security Helpline at [email protected].

Otherwise feel free to come by the Digital Security Clinic, and see you at RightsCon!

photo credit: Nick Carter