Staying safe on your computer, phone and online isn’t about having the latest security tools or paying lots of money to other people to keep you safe. By far the most powerful defense is to change your own behavior. Explore this site to learn how to keep yourself and your friends and family safer…and be your own Cyber Superhero.

This story from @maasalan on Global Voices, directly ties into my research at the Berkman Center on potential prosecution of end-users for using encryption and circumvention technology on their mobile phone. While “severe punishment” is possible, it seems to rarely happen in Iran:

In a report conducted by Iran’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Iranian government announced that of 23.5 million youth using the Internet, 69.3 percent of them are using circumvention technology such as proxies and VPNs — virtual private networks that provide access to the “global Internet”.

At the moment, Iranians often encounter a firewall when trying to access websites that appear antagonistic towards the government or the nation’s Islamic ideals. The report did not make mention of the legality of circumvention tools. But according to Iran’s list of Computer Crimes, the distribution of both circumvention technology and instructions to use such tools are both illegal. Violating these laws can result in severe punishment.

I am informally launching my weekly hands-on mobile security clinic today at Berkman, around 4:30pm, in the Fellows conference room at 23 Everett.

While some might say a mobile phone is only secure once its been microwaved, smashed by a hammer, and buried in concrete, the truth is, most of us can’t escape the shiny, buzzing tracking device in our pocket.

What I can offer are some, free, practical solutions, that can go along way in reducing the likelihood that what you do on your mobile will get hoovered up into an never expiring log somewhere, or plastered across 4chan. Whether you want to encrypt your calls, messages or photos, ensure sensitive personal or project information is not leaking to any app that asks for it, or deal with more advanced concerns related to surveillance or proprietary app ecosystems, I am happy to go there, and find a solution, if it exists.

If you want a small idea of some of the solutions I can offer, visit this link:

In return, I get to hear your stories and challenges, as well as aspirations for what a brighter, more secure mobile computing future might be. Like I said, this is a weekly effort, and these types of interactions are a key part of my work as a Fellow here this year.