Helen is a digital security trainer working in an organization defending the right for free speech in North America and working with both large news organizations and freelance journalists.

She uses Tails for her work, especially since some of the news organizations they work with use SecureDrop to exchange files and communicate with sources. These news organizations have dedicate machines running Tails as their primary OS. She also uses Tails for personal use several times a week. For example she always has a Tails USB stick when she travels and doesn't want to carry her own equipment. It's lighter and for example she can use the computer in the lobby of her hotel or plug her Tails on the big TV screen in her room.

Things she likes:

  • She likes the feeling of security. Tails allows her to keep her regular computer (Ubuntu, Debian, or Mac depending on the day) — the one where she stores her most important data — clean from phishing. Tails is good for surfing around, gossiping, etc. It feels like the early experience she had on the Internet when she was younger which was free from worries. She actually prefers Tails to Tor Browser for that kind of browsing.
  • She uses Tails a lot for note taking (gedit, LibreOffice).
  • She like KeePassX and going on IRC over Tails.

Things she dislikes:

  • She doesn't like Icedove so much and would prefer using mutt.
  • She is frustrated not to be able to save a custom background in Tails. She feels like Tails is one of her computer and she likes to customize her things.
  • She likes the automatic upgrades in general but she always have to go back to the documentation when the upgrade fails. As part of her work, she also sometimes sees infrequent users struggling with accumulated upgrades (for example upgrading from 2.6 to 2.10).
  • She finds the Installation Assistant inferiorating for expert users like her when she only wants to download the ISO. But she recognizes that it otherwise works really well for new users.
  • She wants a minesweeper game in Tails.
  • Once she had troubles debugging a firewall from Tails because the router was not giving a DHCP lease and the Unsafe Browser wouldn't start without one.