I have questions on how to use a specific cryptographic device (e.g. a smartcard) in combination with a standard OS (e.g. Windows and other well-known tools).

These questions aren't about risk management, but rather on how to use combinations of tools (an example would be: How to generate a certificate on the smartcard so it's directly in the certificate store for personal user certificate?)

I feel that these questions would be rather on-topic on Super-User but I also think the people there are lacking the security background needed to understand the (usage of) the tools hence I asked here before actually posting such questions.

Should questions on how to use common cryptographic soft- or hardware be asked on Infosec or Superuser?

2 Answers 2


In my opinion, if the answer is a configuration setting, command, or sequence of clicks, then it's a SuperUser question.

Questions about which configuration or command will achieve one's requirements of security is on topic here.

So, I would draw the line: don't ask "which is better?" over at SuperUser (they aren't qualified), and don't ask "how do I?" here (we aren't tech support). I know that not everyone agrees with the "tech support" stance.

There will be questions where only a security pro would know the 'correct' config/command, but that might be a fine line.


If you wish to ask a "How to use" question I suggest the question should reflect the effort that you have already put in.

I would like to give two examples of questions where the OP wanted to use nmap to scan a network. However the way these questions were framed made a huge difference on the amount of attention they received.

Question 1: How to create a script that returns only the mobile devices on a network using NMAP

A one liner questions which talks about the goal the OP is trying to achieve. It does not talk about what has already been tried or what is the exact issue. It may be possible that the OP tried a few things before posting the question on sec.SE but the question is written in such a way that it looks like a homework question.

Question 2: How to find live hosts on my network?

Another "How to use" question about nmap but the OP does manage to show what he/she has already tried and why he thinks that the tool is not giving him the correct results.

Questions which do not show effort are discouraged everywhere on the stackexchange network.

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