Holistic digital security training curriculum for women human rights defenders
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About this guide

Cyberwomen is a digital security curriculum with a holistic and gender perspective, aimed at offering trainers with tools to provide in-person learning experiences to human rights defenders and journalists working in high-risk environments.

The guide is geared towards both professional trainers and those who want to learn how to train others on their digital protection, and include gender considerations as they do so. It is made up of training modules, interactive games, recommendations for evaluating the training, as well as audio-visual and graphic materials as instructional aids. There are some recommendations about which modules to use for different learning levels, time and contexts.

You can either browse the guide online or download the full PDF version here. The creation of CyberWomen was a collaborative process between many devoted people and partner organizations.


A Feminist Approach to Curriculum Development

Women Participants and Women Trainers

Designed to support an ambiance of woman-to-woman confidence and trust in a training setting.

Female and Feminist Models

Focus on sharing real-life instances of digital attacks - as experienced by women human rights defenders, activists and journalists - using empowering testimonies.

My Body, My Devices, My Decision!

"Strategic thinking about digital security": sharing digital security concepts with participants, rather than just training on a list of tools.

Analysis of Gender-Based Risk and Social Media

We use examples of YouTube videos, messages on various social media platforms, and outputs emerging from other training sessions in order to hold a safer space for discussion and reflection on technology-based violence that specifically targets women.

Feminist Self-Care & Digital Self-Defense

This curriculum considers emotional well-being and self-care as a vital element of security for WHRDs.


Trust-Building Exercises

Trust-Building Exercises

Breaking the ice, getting to know each other, identifying allies and adversaries, collectively build shared participation and co-existence agreements.

Rethinking Our Relationship with Technology

Rethinking Our Relationship with Technology

Tools and technology don’t have magic superpowers over us - we are the ones who decide what we give them access to.

Digital Security Basics 1

Digital Security Basics 1

From how the internet works and safer browsing techniques, to securing devices from malware and unwanted access, and more.



Our devices, our data – defining, understanding and reclaiming the right to privacy online.

Safe Online Advocacy

Safe Online Advocacy

Spreading the message, and staying more safe, as women and human rights defenders online.

Safer Mobiles

Safer Mobiles

Knowledge is power – the more we understand about our mobile devices, the more control over them we can take back.



How taking a closer look at the blurring line between physical and virtual spaces can help us regain control of our identities.



When it comes to protecting data and communications from prying eyes, we alone hold the keys to our information.

Digital Security Basics 2

Digital Security Basics 2

Storing and securing the information we value the most, and knowing when to push the ‘reset’ button.

Online Violence Against Women

Online Violence Against Women

Recognizing - and pushing back against - the patterns of harassment and abuse faced by women human rights defenders online.



More safely engaging in an act of pleasurable resistance against racism, sexism, machismo, conservatism and heteronormativity.

Determining the Best Solution

Determining the Best Solution

Tools are not silver bullets – critical thinking and informed decision making are the true hallmarks of a strong, holistic practice of digital security.

Planning Ahead

Planning Ahead

What comes next? How organizations can maintain a steady course towards a collective digital security practice.



Our work is never easy – but before we can truly take care of others, we must first learn to take care of ourselves.

Closing & Review Exercises

Closing & Review Exercises

That’s a wrap! Remembering what we’ve learned, and bringing our digital security training process to nurturing, constructive conclusions.

Planning resources

Pre-training assesment and evaluation

  • Assessing Needs and Motivations

    Assessing Needs and Motivations

    Carrying out a needs assessment ahead of your training, by working either with the training participants themselves or with a member of their representing organization.

  • Digital Security and Capacity (DISC) Tool

    Digital Security and Capacity (DISC) Tool

    Pre-training assessment questionnaire that uses a quantifiable scoring mechanism to gauge participants’ existing digital security skill level, while also providing qualitative information on strengths and areas for improvement at a more granular, practice-specific level. DISC Tool is also a useful way to track their learning and comprehension progress.

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  • Alternative Assessment Strategies

    Alternative Assessment Strategies

    In the event that you’re not able to perform a pre-training assessment directly, or have these questions answered, you can still infer quite a bit of background information from what you do know about participants’ context and circumstances.

Example training agendas

According to time and skills.

  • 1-Day to 1.5-Day Workshops

    1-Day to 1.5-Day Workshops

    • Workshop on Risk Assessment
    • Awareness Training for WHRDs Dealing with Online Harassment
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  • 3-Day Workshops

    3-Day Workshops

    • Introductory
    • Intermediate
    • Advanzed
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Additional resources

Digital Security Assessment for Human Rights Organizations: A guide for facilitators

Digital Security Assessment for Human Rights Organizations: A guide for facilitators

This guide is directed primarily at the digital security training community, but may also prove useful for an organization that chooses to initiate a digital security process on its own. The activities and structure proposed herein can and should be adapted to the specific circumstances and needs of the organization. The guide can also be a useful reference for facilitators throughout the implementation of the diagnostic. The methodology can also be applied to individual assessments with minimal adjustments.

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Digital Security and Capacity (DISC) Tool

Digital Security and Capacity (DISC) Tool

Pre-training assessment questionnaire that uses a quantifiable scoring mechanism to gauge participants’ existing digital security skill level, while also providing qualitative information on strengths and areas for improvement at a more granular, practice-specific level.

Read more

"Case studies" infographic

Illustrates cases related to harrasment, threats, information theft (phishing), identity theft, profile deactivation and real identity exposure, forceful entry, server attacks...

Download PDF


Coding rights

Brazilian-born women lead Think-and-Do tank that aims to advance in the enforcement of Human Rights in the digital world by integrating usages and understandings of technology into policy making processes.

Cuida tu info

Security of information and communication.

Derechos Digitales

Latin American independent organization and non-profit founded in 2005 and whose main objective is the development, defense and promotion of human rights in the digital environment in the region.

Feminist Internet

Works towards empowering more women and queer persons – in all our diversities – to fully enjoy our rights, engage in pleasure and play, and dismantle patriarchy.

Gender Sec wiki | Tactical Tech

This manual is a community-built resource for our growing community of women and trans* activists, human rights defenders and technologists.

Karisma Foundation

A civil society organization dedicated to supporting and spreading the good use of technologies in digital environments.

Me and My Shadow

Tactical Tech’s Me and My Shadow project helps you control your data traces, see how you’re being tracked, and learn more about the data industry.


Opt out of global data surveillance programs like PRISM, XKeyscore and Tempora.

Red en defensa de los derechos digitales

Mexican organization dedicated to the defense of human rights in the digital environment.

Security in a box

If you’re new to digital security, the Tactics Guides cover the basic principles, including advice on how to use social networking platforms and mobile phones more safely.

Surveillance self-defense

Tips, tools and how-tos for safer online communications.

Take back the tech

Take Back The Tech! is a call to everyone, especially women and girls, to take control of technology to end violence against women.

Tem boi na linha | is There an Ox in Your Line?

Practical guide to combat online surveillance.

Protection of Human Rights Defenders

Protection, security and self-care for human rights defenders.


An investigation that arises from the desire to elucidate certain questions to transform research into a reservoir of useful knowledge for people concerned about gender inequalities and, also, for people oriented to social and political transformation.

No fear

To the streets without fear, tools against repression.

La violencia en línea es violencia (video)

Online violence is violence

Quick tips for spaces

Quick tips for facilitating gender-sensitive learning spaces on digital security. A guide created by IWPR and Social Tic, with content by Indira Cornelio, Dhaniella Falk and Alma Ugarte.

Level Up

Resources for the global digital safety training community.

Contact us