I Decide

Credits Indira Cornelio, Alma Uguarte Perez Last Updated 2017-06

The goal of this exercise is lead participants through a strategic critical thinking process to make decisions about specific digital security tools or practices that they will implement for themselves.

ADIDS Element

Activity and Discussion

Parent Topic(s)

Security Plans and Protocols


20-30 minutes

This session was developed for, and should be attributed to, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting resource “Cyberwomen: Holistic Digital Security Training Curriculum for Women Human Rights Defenders” under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International CC BY-SA 4.0 License

Materials to Prepare:

  • Digital Safety Tool Figures (ideally 2-3 copies of each, but not enough to have one of each for every participant) Download PDF

Trainer’s Note

As trainers, we can often impose our own vision of digital security practice on participants, either deliberately but with sincere intentions or unwittingly. However, it is important for us to remember that – as trainers and experts – our participants are under no obligation to either use the tools we teach, or to adapt to the practices that we deem to be “the safest”.


Running the Session:

Step 1 | Open the session by explaining how building a digital security practice is a process that is iterative, and frequently difficult, for anybody. This session builds on the work started during the Input session “Digital Security Decisions” in which participants began to reflect on and identify their needs. Now, you will work with participants to begin identifying specific tools and practices for themselves.

Step 2 | On a table or other flat surface – this should in the middle of the training room, or someplace central and visible to all participants - place the digital safety tool figures (you will find the figures in IWPR’s CyberWomen and Archived

Step 3 | Tell participants that they will likely recognize many tools they have seen so far among the figured on the table - such as PGP keys, Signal, ObscuraCam or HTTPS Everywhere. Remind the group that, as has been mentioned previously throughout the training, it is they - not you as a trainer, not a technician, nor anyone else - who should choose the tools that best suit them and their needs.

Step 4 | Ask participants to come forward to the table, to select from among the tool figures on the table those which they think are important to them and their individual needs, and that they plan to continue practicing and using after the training process has completed.

Step 5 | Once everybody has chosen their tools, ask each woman to explain why they chose the tools that they did – they should stand or sit in a circle around the table, and go one by one until everyone has had the chance to share. They should also mention if there were any tools that they wanted to choose, but weren’t able to because others had chosen it first.

Step 6 | Now, ask them if they think that there are any other tools missing from the table - even if they don’t know the name of it (or even if it exists or not) ask them to say if they have any concerns remaining which are not readily addressed by any of the tools that were available to them.

Step 7 | Close the session with a group reflection about how knowledge is shared, and that those who chose a tool that other participants may have also wanted (but couldn’t because there were not enough) should share and exchange it with them so that we can all “learn” from one another.