#7 Next steps

You've now completed the basics of email encryption with GnuPG, taking action against bulk surveillance. These next steps will help make the most of the work you've done.

Join the movement

You've just taken a huge step towards protecting your privacy online. But each of us acting alone isn't enough. To topple bulk surveillance, we need to build a movement for the autonomy and freedom of all computer users. Join the Free Software Foundation's community to meet like-minded people and work together for change.

 GNU Social  |   Mastodon  |  Twitter

Read why GNU Social and Mastodon are better than Twitter, and why we don't use Facebook.

Bring Email Self-Defense to new people

Understanding and setting up email encryption is a daunting task for many. To welcome them, make it easy to find your public key and offer to help with encryption. Here are some suggestions:

  • # Lead an Email Self-Defense workshop for your friends and community, using our teaching guide.
  • # Use our sharing page to compose a message to a few friends and ask them to join you in using encrypted email. Remember to include your GnuPG public key fingerprint so they can easily download your key.
  • # Add your public key fingerprint anywhere that you normally display your email address. Some good places are: your email signature (the text kind, not the cryptographic kind), social media profiles, blogs, Web sites, or business cards. At the Free Software Foundation, we put ours on our staff page.

Protect more of your digital life

Learn surveillance-resistant technologies for instant messages, hard drive storage, online sharing, and more at the Free Software Directory's Privacy Pack and prism-break.org.

If you are using Windows, macOS or any other proprietary operating system, we recommend you switch to a free software operating system like GNU/Linux. This will make it much harder for attackers to enter your computer through hidden back doors. Check out the Free Software Foundation's endorsed versions of GNU/Linux.

Optional: Add more email protection with Tor

The Onion Router (Tor) network wraps Internet communication in multiple layers of encryption and bounces it around the world several times. When used properly, Tor confuses surveillance field agents and the global surveillance apparatus alike. Using it simultaneously with GnuPG's encryption will give you the best results.

To have your email program send and receive email over Tor, install the Torbirdy plugin by searching for it through Add-ons.

Before beginning to check your email over Tor, make sure you understand the security tradeoffs involved. This infographic from our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation demonstrates how Tor keeps you secure.

Make Email Self-Defense tools even better

Leave feedback and suggest improvements to this guide. We welcome translations, but we ask that you contact us at campaigns@fsf.org before you start, so that we can connect you with other translators working in your language.

If you like programming, you can contribute code to GnuPG.

To go the extra mile, support the Free Software Foundation so we can keep improving Email Self-Defense, and make more tools like it.