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Open source Android, iOS and Web app for learning about and managing digital and physical security. From how to send a secure message to dealing with a kidnap. Umbrella has best practice guides in over 40 topics in multiple languages. Used daily by people working in high risk countries - journalists, activists, diplomats, business travelers etc.



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Umbrella is an Android mobile app developed by Security First that provides human rights defenders with the information on what to do in any given security situation and the tools to do it. It allows the user to choose what they want to do, such as: protect data; securely make a call/email; securely access the internet; plan secure travel; protect their office/home; conduct counter-surveillance; or deal with kidnapping, arrest or evacuation. Once a situation is chosen, the app outlines what to do and what tools to use given your circumstances. This is followed by a simple checklist of recommended actions that can be customised, saved and shared securely. Umbrella’s Feed also provides users with an up-to-the-minute account of potential risks in their chosen location.

Installation on Android

Umbrella on Google Play Store Umbrella on Amazon App Store Umbrella on FDroid

F-Droid fingerprint: 39EB57052F8D684514176819D1645F6A0A7BD943DBC31AB101949006AC0BC228

Available on iOS

Umbrella is available on iOS devices too.

Umbrella on Apple App Store

Example Usage

Umbrella is designed for everyone (people looking to increase their security, folks living in high-risk areas, regular travellers, business people, techies, journalists, NGO staff, aid workers, human rights defenders, social workers, environmental activists, etc).

However, when we built Umbrella we tried to keep in mind the story of Glen Greenwald and Edward Snowden. Greenwald couldn't communicate with Snowden at the start because he found it cumbersome to set up encryption (he nearly missed one of the biggest stories of the decade because of this!). Also, when he (and Laura Poitras) travelled to Hong Kong - they didn't have much knowledge about how to meet securely with Snowden and detect surveillance. This is a common problem for journalists and activists. Umbrella is designed to solve this problem (and others) by having nearly everything they would have needed to know in one place - in their pocket.

Main Parts of Umbrella

Introduction: This is the part the user sees first. It explains briefly how the app works and the basic terms and conditions.

Menu: The bottom navigation menu is the main way for a user to navigate. It lists the feed, forms, lessons (with tool guides), checklists and account.

Feed: The feed contains security feeds from places like the UN Relief Web and the US Centers for Disease Control. You enter your location (and how often you want to be updated). Everytime a new update is released (e.g a disease outbreak in your location), the information comes up on the dashboard.

Lessons: Lessons are where users can learn about topics and things that they can do to improve their security. Some of the lessons have different levels (Beginner, Advanced, Expert) depending on your needs, ability, and risk. Each module is broken down into sections. At the end of each module is a list of other resources and further reading.

Tool Guides: These are detailed guides about how to use the software and apps mentioned in the lessons.

Checklists: Checklists are quick and easy references to help users implement the advice in the lessons. You can tick them off as you complete each item. Items can be edited. You may also create custom checklists. If you start ticking a checklist, you will then see it on the Checklists page. Checklists can also be shared through other apps such as your email.

Forms: Forms allow a user to quickly fill out and share important information about issues such as their travel plan in a high-risk location or report on a digital/physical security incident.


The general flow of lessons is presented in order to replicate the typical way that a user works. Protecting their information -> Communicating with other people -> Arranging and travelling to a location -> Doing their operations and work -> Dealing with personal issues that may arise-> Seeking support if something goes wrong.

These are the lessons currently in Umbrella.

Access your risk

  • Security Planning


These lessons mostly cover the security of information that is stored on your computers.

  • Managing information
  • Malware
  • Passwords
  • Protecting Files
  • Safely Deleting
  • Backing Up
  • Protect your workplace
  • Workplace raids


These lessons mostly cover the security of information when it is sent or received.

  • Mobile Phones
  • Making a call
  • Sending a message
  • Email
  • Censorship
  • Online Privacy
  • Phishing
  • Radios and satellite phones
  • Online abuse


These lessons cover the security of travelling in high-risk areas.

  • Preparation
  • Borders
  • Vehicles
  • Checkpoints
  • Protective Equipment


These lessons include topics that may affect you in your work.

  • Meetings
  • Being followed
  • Protests
  • Dangerous Assignments
  • Public Assignments
  • Public Communications
  • Whistleblowers

Incident Response

These lessons cover how to respond to events.

  • Arrests
  • Evacuation
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual Assault
  • Terrorism


  • Stress

Emergency Support

Explains places to get extra help if you have a problem.

  • Physical
  • Digital


These are detailed guides about how to use software and apps mentioned in the lessons. These are the tools currently covered in the tool guide.

  • Messaging
    • Mailvelope
    • ObscuraCam
    • Pidgin
    • Psiphon
    • Signal for Android
    • Signal for iOS
  • Encryption
    • Encrypt your iPhone
    • k9 & Open Keychain
    • KeePasXC
  • PGP
    • PGP for Linux
    • PGP for MacOS
    • PGP for Windows
  • Tor
    • Orbot & Orfox
    • Tor for MacOS
    • Tor for Linux
    • Tor for Windows
  • Files
    • Cobian Backup
    • Recuva
    • VeraCrypt
  • Other
    • Android
    • Facebook


Contains explanations of the various terms used in the app.


Explains the licences that we use for and by Umbrella. Also says a big THANKYOU to everyone whose work we built on to make it happen.

Dashboard Feed Sources

These are the sources that we currently include for real-time updated security Feeds. For privacy reasons, users never connect directly to these services. We are always looking for more useful sources that will help users keep updated on the move.


Navigate to the "Account" from the bottom menu. Here you can:

  • Modify settings (feed interval, feed location, feed sources, notifications, connections, import data, export data)
  • Enable Mask
  • Set a password
  • Log out


You need an Android phone with a minimum version of 4.0.3 (SDK 15 - ICE_CREAM_SANDWICH_MR1)

Contributing to Umbrella

Thank you for your interest in contributing to Umbrella. See our contributing guide.


Thanks to everyone who has contributed code to Umbrella. It wouldn’t have happened without you.

Cryptography Notice

This distribution includes cryptographic software. The country in which you currently reside may have restrictions on the import, possession, use, and/or re-export to another country, of encryption software. BEFORE using any encryption software, please check your country's laws, regulations and policies concerning the import, possession, or use, and re-export of encryption software, to see if this is permitted.

See for more information.


Copyright 2013-2021 Global Security First Ltd. (trading as Security First)

Licensed under the GPLv3:


Open source Android, iOS and Web app for learning about and managing digital and physical security. From how to send a secure message to dealing with a kidnap. Umbrella has best practice guides in over 40 topics in multiple languages. Used daily by people working in high risk countries - journalists, activists, diplomats, business travelers etc.




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