Digital Safety for LGBTQ+
In the digital age, safety and privacy are essential for everyone, but especially for marginalized communities like the LGBTQ+. Digital spaces have empowered the LGBTQ+ community to connect, share experiences, and mobilize. However, these same platforms can also pose risks of exposure, harassment, or even persecution, especially in regions where LGBTQ+ rights aren't recognized or protected. To ensure digital safety, LGBTQ+ individuals should be cautious about sharing personal information online, be aware of digital footprints, and use encrypted communication tools when discussing sensitive topics. Digital security is not just about protecting devices or accounts; it's about safeguarding identities and lives.
Please note: The cyber safety advice provided on this website is intended to be informative and helpful, but it is not a substitute for professional advice or guidance. We make every effort to provide accurate and up-to-date information, but we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the content. The advice given on this website is provided to the best of our abilities, and we are not liable for any damages or losses that may result from its use. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified expert in the field for personalized advice and guidance on cyber safety.
4 Tips for LGBTQ+ Digital Safety
Join LGBTQ+ Safe Digital Spaces
Connect with digital communities or platforms specifically designed with LGBTQ+ safety in mind. These spaces often have stringent security measures and can be a haven for open discussions.
Evaluate LGBTQ+ Apps
Before downloading an LGBTQ+ dating or community app, check reviews and research its security protocols. Some apps have been known to inadvertently expose user data.
Engage with Anonymous Support Platforms
If you're seeking support or advice on LGBTQ+ issues, opt for platforms that allow anonymous interactions. This way, you can seek the guidance you need without compromising your identity.
Educate Yourself on Local LGBTQ+ Digital Surveillance
In some countries, governments monitor digital activity for LGBTQ+ content or communication. Understand the risks in your region and take steps to protect your online interactions accordingly.
3 Privacy Tips for LGBTQ+
Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ rights are not protected everywhere, so utilizing privacy tips may be essential. The following tips are helpful if you need to maintain secrecy about your gender identity or sexual orientation.
Use Signal with Disappearing Messages
Signal (signal.org) is rated the top messaging, calling, and video chatting app for privacy. If you need to communicate with a partner or have conversations related to gender identity or sexual orientation in a place where LGBTQ+ rights are not protected, using secure messaging is essential. Signal instead of other messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Additionally, turn on disappearing messages. To turn this on, go to Settings > Privacy and under Disappearing Messages select a short amount of time. Then any messages sent and received in new conversations started by you will disappear.
Use a VPN
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, protects your online privacy, secures your internet activities, and hides your identity. A VPN can provide an extra layer of security, especially in countries where LGBTQ+ content is restricted or monitored.It's good to use a VPN on your computer and phone in general, but especially if you're looking up information regarding your gender identity or sexual orientation. There are many paid and free VPNs with a range of features. One VPN with a free tier is ProtonVPN (protonvpn.com) as a Swiss VPN provider, they do not log user activity or share data with third parties. Here is a list of other top VPNs. Some VPNs cater specifically to the LGBTQ+ community, especially those in regions where their rights are under threat. These VPNs ensure that browsing related to LGBTQ+ issues remains private and untraceable.
Use DuckDuckGo Browser and Search Engine
Use DuckDuckGo (duckduckgo.com), which is free to use and protects your privacy. It has a browser and search engine. Use both while searching for information regarding your gender identity or sexual orientation or accessing LGBTQ+ resources if you are concerned about privacy. Additionally, clear your browser history after looking up information.
Additionally if you are in a place where your LGBTQ+ rights are not protected or you want to maintain privacy, avoid geo-tagging an LGBTQ+ bar, club, or community center, especially if you live in or are visiting areas where LGBTQ+ establishments might be targeted.