I've been looking for standards or guides in threat modeling. I found lot of informations for developers threat modeling when building apps, networks etc.. but I could not find relevant information from the user point of view.

I am looking for guidelines that could help more than one user.

There are few points on which I was wondering :

  • Should time be included in the threat model ? Indeed one can know what he is going to do at time t but what about time t+x ? Does one have to consider starting the process again when his habits/actions change ?
  • Does overestimating threats is a good practice ? How to properly evaluate a threat ?
  • What would be the best approach ? Is this subjective ?

I specified 'willing to stay anonymous' so the question is not too broad and the goal clear.

  • A layman's comment: I surmise that the issue apparently essentially depends on whether your adversary is a mighty nation state (or equivalents) or not. Under really universal surveillance nothing happening on an Internet connection starting from the user could (by definition) be anonymous, since sometime somewhere a real IP address is employed and that can be got by the adversary IMHO. Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


The EFF's "Surveillance Self Defense" is a good place to start. https://ssd.eff.org/en

Over time leaks and mistakes are likely; generating a new identity regularly may make sense if you think that you'll come under intense scrutiny. You reduce linkability between the things you've said, and thus reduce tracability.

Overestimating threats is never a good practice. It leads you to over-invest in mitigations and defenses. However, it may be better than under-estimation.

The best approach is the one that works for you.

  • 1
    Let me add: estimating threats is super-hard, and being conservative (that is, over-investing in mitigation) is a good way to manage uncertainty. It may be cheaper than accurately assessing a threat's capability. Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 16:26
  • Overestimating threats significantly can be a bigger issue if it results in less attention being brought to more relevant threats.
    – forest
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 4:45

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