Thanks again to all the people who contributed in September in response to our urgent appeal. Your generous response was overwhelming and inspiring.
Many people grew alarmed after reading our last newsletter, and wrote us to ask how serious our situation actually is. Yes, our financial situation has been dire. It is also true that Riseup has weathered lightning strikes, melting computers, internal conflict, illness, national borders, and a car crash. We cannot confirm the alien abduction. Riseup is a quixotic project: the thing we do is persevere, against all reason.
Somehow it works, but this is not a sustainable way to operate. What would it look like if Riseup was run properly? Help tickets would be answered in a timely manner, our services would be more reliable and more secure, and you would not need a different account for each different service. Most importantly, Riseup would be more accountable and more responsive to the needs of the communities we seek to serve. Although your generous support has averted our current crisis, Riseup does not yet generate the donations or the volunteer labor needed for Riseup to thrive.
This means we are going to keep asking for your support! If you missed out, it is never too late to donate. Please visit https://riseup.net/en/donate
Back in June, we said we would put all donations received that month toward increasing quota. We received enough money to double quota, and we will be increasing quota again as soon as we can. A few things to remember about quota:
Riseup has a “default” starting quota, but you can also optionally double your quota by logging in at https://user.riseup.net
If you changed your quota in the past, you do not automatically get higher quota now that the limit has been changed. You need to login to https://user.riseup.net to do this.
If you would like increased security, and better control over your own data, we suggest that you consider using POP instead of IMAP or web-mail. With POP configured to remove messages from our servers, you will never need to worry about quota or Riseup storing your email. For more information, see https://riseup.net/en/email/clients.
Computer security is hard, and even big corporations get it wrong most of the time. What is an activist to do? There are four easy first steps that you should take to get started:
(1) Do not open email attachments. Honestly, just don’t do it, ever. Email attachments are the single most common cause of security problems. If you must open an email attachment, first contact the sender and confirm that they sent it. In general, you can never trust the identity of the sender .
(2) Use a password manager. Some password managers are better than others, but what really matters is that you start using one. Let your beautiful brain fill up with something better than passwords. Remember one long password, and let the computer remember everything else.
(3) Keep your software and operating system up to date. The sad reality is that technology is a never ending treadmill of doom. If you are running old software, you are probably exposing yourself to all sorts of known vulnerabilities that an attacker can take advantage of.
(4) Check out our Better Web Browsing tutorial: https://riseup.net/en/better-web-browsing
 Technical note: It is possible to verify the identity of the sender, if the message is signed with OpenPGP or S/MIME. Otherwise, even technically savvy people need to exercise extreme caution (for example, DKIM doesn’t prevent domain name homograph attacks, a phishing method using similarly looking characters. Our help page on Phishing - https://riseup.net/en/phishing - has more info).