Mobile Safety



In this module, we work with participants to share strategies and tactics for using their mobile phones more safely in situations and contexts where they live.

This module offers guides for facilitating conversations about how women's rights and sexual rights activists experience their access to mobile technology and communications differently based on their gender and sexual identities. We'll talk about how we are using our mobile phones for personal and private communications, for public and movement communications, and strategies and tools we are using to managing our mobile communications more safely.

This module includes: hands-on activities for exploring and understanding how mobile phones and mobile communications work; group activities for and examining our use of mobiles and how this relates to our genders and sexual identities; group activities for sharing and practicing strategies and tactics in the context of our lives.

Common questions we hear and are trying to address in this module:

  • What happens if someone else has my phone? What information is on my phone? How might this affect myself, my colleagues, my movement?
  • How do I know if I'm being surveilled by my partner, exes, family members, governments?
  • How do I use my phone more safely?
  • How are you using your phone to organize?

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module, the participants would have:

  • an understanding of how mobile access and communications are gendered and intimate;
  • an understanding of mobile communication safety from the perspective that mobile phones are our tools for both personal, private and public, movement communications;
  • an understanding of basic concepts of how mobile communications work in order to better understand the risks of mobile communications;
  • shared and practiced strategies and tactics for mobile safety to manage the impacts of our mobile communications on ourselves, our colleagues, our movements;

Learning Activities

Starter Activities

Deepening Activities

Tactical Activities

Learning Paths

We've divided the Learning Activities into 3 groups. We suggest beginning with the Starter Activities to develop a shared understanding of some of the technical and political influences on mobile safety. Included are facilitation guides for deeper conversations about more specific uses of mobile phones. The goal of the deepening exercises is to facilitate knowledge building around how mobile phones work and the kinds of risks it may introduce to participants and discussions around what a group sees as possible uses of mobile devices and what a group understands as acceptable uses.

There are a series of short tactical activities based on common situations participants may experience. The goal of these activities is to enable participants to plan for these situations and to practice addressing mobile safety in these situations.

For groups who want to implement a communications for actions strategy that includes designing and implementing groups with varying access and membership, we recommend doing Planning Mobile Communications for Actions/Organizing before Back it up! Lock it! Delete it! a.k.a. Someone took my mobile: Border crossings, arrests, seizure, theft.

Special Note for Mobile Safety Training

It is very rare that all the participants in your workshop would have the same kind of mobile phone. It is a good idea to do hands-on in smaller groups: for iPhone users, for different versions of Android, and / or for feature phone users.

Resources | Links | Further Reading

Video for Change guides:
Witness guides:
Security in a Box:
My Shadow training resources:

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