Threat Modeling 101: Understanding When to Use or Not Use a VPN

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  • Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022
  • Time: 08:30am to 10am EST / 1:30pm - 3pm UTC (What time is it in my city?)
  • Who: Trinh Nguyen, Director of Safety and Technology, Team CommUNITY
  • Location: Zoom


Threat Modeling 101: Understanding When to Use or Not Use a VPN (Talk and Q&A)

How do I know if I should use a VPN? Across VPN review sites and advertising, VPNs are often marketed as a “one size fits all” solution for nearly any digital safety and security woes. However, downloading and using a VPN is not always the solution that will best address your needs. In this session, attendees will learn about basic risk assessment and threat modeling, VPN use cases, and how to determine when using a VPN may be helpful, or may not be.


  • Trinh Nguyen is a holistic security and movement building trainer and oversees the safety and security of the Internet Freedom Festival including its partners and participants. Trinh has over 15 years of training experience, previously working on campaigns for reproductive justice, anti-oppression, Internet Freedom, and pro-democracy efforts in Vietnam. As a movement building trainer, Nguyen incorporates capacity building and cybersecurity tactics to help diverse grassroots pro-democracy and human rights movements achieve digital resiliency and organizational security.

Formerly a member of Viet Tan, a Vietnamese pro-democracy group, Trinh co-founded their Internet Freedom Program that worked to disseminate cybersecurity, anti-surveillance, and circumvention knowledge and technologies inside Vietnam. She is a board member of Horizontal, a technology nonprofit serving human rights defenders through digital security support and tool development, and a co-founder of Vietnam Rise, a movement building organization. She also serves as an advisor for the Ford Foundation’s Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT).

  • Laura Tich is an Information security consultant and founder of SheHacks_KE, a community of women in cybersecurity in Kenya. She is a cybersecurity trainer and digital privacy advocate. Tich works as a cybersecurity advisor to Ford Foundation's BUILD program.

Notes and Resources

Notes and resources will be posted here