Our Work

what we do

digital security + tool development

These are Horizontal’s different areas of work. If you are interested in developing a new project around technology that doesn’t quite fit within those categories, get in touch!

Contact us

digital security

Horizontal provides digital security support to individuals, groups, and organizations facing high risks of surveillance and repression. We provide training workshops, coaching and mentoring, and organizational assistance with an emphasis on long-term support.

Our training programs are customized to the operational environment and needs of our partners, but here are some of skills our trainings often aim to build:

  • understand what digital security is and the most important digital security concepts (encryption, phishing, etc)
  • conduct a threat assessment at the individual or organizational level
  • understand and mitigate the privacy risks of online platforms and social networks
  • secure online accounts from unauthorized access and data leaks
  • use a number of secure tools, including to secure communication and data
  • understand and mitigate the risks inherent to mobile devices
See more +

tool development

Horizontal works with partners to develop digital tools that promote rights, freedom, and justice. Whether it’s to protect rights defenders, promote citizen participation, or enable access to information, we create technology to open spaces and empower.

We develop websites, web apps, mobile apps, data dashboards… as long as it is in line with our mission & values, addresses a tangible community need, and that there is a sustainability plan to ensure the tool survives beyond initial development.

our flagship tool

Document & Protect

In addition to developing tools for and with partners, we develop our own tools where we see critical needs unaddressed. Tella is our flagship tool, currently available for Android. In challenging environments–with limited or no internet connectivity or in the face of repression–Tella makes it easier and safer to document events, whether that’s violence, human rights violations, or corruption. Tella is used by activists and advocates to protect themselves and their data in some of the world’s most repressive places.

Learn more about Tella
Document & Protect
anti-phishing education


Phishing is a major security threat for human rights defenders and journalists. To respond to this issue, Shira is a web app that helps users develop their skills to identify and defeat phishing attacks. Users can take a quiz and attempt to determine which of the simulated emails and messages are phishing attacks and which are legitimate. Shira is self-paced and easy to use, created with support from a board of digital safety experts.

Learn more about Shira
Shira screenshot
in response to the pandemic

Covid Diary

Covid Diary is a simple, privacy-conscious app to help users keep a record of their Covid-19 symptoms or those of a loved one. Answer a few quick questions every day, observe changes in your conditions over time, and have a clear record to share with a healthcare providers when needed.

Learn more about Covid Diary
Covid diary