Digital Security

Digital Security

Also consult the AP Stylebook for its section on digital security tips and resources.


Washington Post: Digital Mobs Are Now Coming for Student Media

International Women’s Media Foundation: Guide to Protecting Newsrooms and Journalists Against OnlineViolence
A resource for newsrooms to better protect staff targeted simply for doing their jobs.

How Not to Fall for Tricky URLs
Data Detox site offers tips and tricks in this interactive exercise. Very good digital security information.


Many of the resources listed here are from Reporters Without Borders 2014 trainings and other sources.

Safety and Security
This vital course teaches you how to protect yourself and your news organization from hacking, digital attacks and censorship. Tools used: Project Shield, uProxy, 2-Step Verification, Password Alert.

How Journalists Can Work from Home Remotely

Cybersecurity Toolkit for Journalists
From the Global Cyber Alliance, this is a great set of tools for small newsrooms.

GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit for Journalists
A resource for independent journalists, watchdogs, and small newsrooms.

Google’s Jigsaw
Proxy server and other tools for journalists to stay safe online. Great suite of free tools.

Global Investigative Journalism Network: Digital Security Tools

International Center for Journalists: Digital Security Resources

USA Today: Blur Your Home on Maps and Erase Your Data to Remove Your Life from Google’s Grip

CPJ: Safely Covering the 2020 U.S. Elections
Legal resources, digital safety and more.

IJNET: Digital Security Do’s and Don’ts

How to Set Up a Secure Phone
David Koff’s Medium post walks you through the steps. Important for investigative reporters and international correspondents.

ICFJ: How to Convince Journalists That Digital Security is for Them

European Journalism Observatory: Working With Whistleblowers In The Digital Age: New Guidelines
Great tips for investigative journalists on protecting sources.

Last Pass
Password storage and generator tool.

A safe, simple way to store and fill passwords and personal information.

This tool makes it simple for journalists to securely share video, photos, and audio files over any Internet connection. latakoo handles large files fast and preserves great quality.

GIJN Toolbox: Search for Hidden Connections Between Websites
Tools like VirusTotal, SpyOnWeb, etc.

Surveillance Self-Defense
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self-Defense guide includes guides to digital security for journalists, including how to use encryption and secure messaging.

Dart Center: Online Abuse: A Self-Defense Guide

Save your passwords and log in to sites with a single click. It’s that simple.

Watch Your Hack
A manual that explains how to protect yourself from hackers, in layman’s terms.
Google offers several free security tools for journalists and others.

USA Today: How to Secure Your WiFi Router

Doxxing Yourself on the Internet
Great tips from a NICAR 19 panel.

TrollBusters: Global Safety Resource Hub
A map of security tools from around the world.

GIJN: How to Protect Yourself from Metadata

A free open source disk encryption software for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

Craig Silverman’s Verification and Digital Investigations Resources
Essential plugins and tools for general OSINT/online research work.

GIJN: Safety and Security Videos

ZDNet: How to Delete Yourself from Internet Search Results and Hide Your Identity Online

Washington Post: Digital Mobs Are Now Coming for Student Media

Resources galore for dealing with online harassment. Built by journalists for journalists.

SID License
A new paid tool that claims to protect users on Twitter from abuse. It helps you mute accounts that are not ID verified, verifies your Twitter while keeping your identity hidden, gives you control of your mentions and claims to not share any identifiable data with Twitter. You also can mute followers of other problematic accounts.

Freedom of the Press Foundation: How Safe Are Your Favorite Transcription Tools?

GIJN: What to Do If Authorities Invade Your Home

No One Uses Email Anymore
A great slideshow of tips from an IRE 19 panel on how government officials are using private chat apps to communicate rather than email. Makes it harder to FOIA and track those discussions.

Jumbo Privacy + Security
See what Google and digital platforms know about you. Available for iPhone and Android.

GIJN: How Journalists Are Coping with a Heightened Surveillance Threat

VirusTotal: Analyze Suspicious Links and Files
Analyzes suspicious files and URLs for malware and automatically shares them with the security community.

Popular Science: How to Use Your Smartphone Without Leaving a Trace

Open source tool for secure and anonymous file sharing.

How Not to Fall for Tricky URLS
Data Detox site offers tips and tricks in this interactive exercise. Very good digital security information.
Protect your browser from trackers and search privately.

Group chat and file-sharing like Slack but more secure.

GIJN Organized Crime Book: Cybercrime

Digital Attack Map
A live data visualization that surfaces anonymous attack traffic data so you can explore historic trends and find reports of outages happening on any given day.

A secure, encrypted platform for sending files through Tor, the anonymous web browser.

Trollbusters: Generation Zeitgeist Resources
Cool, visual infographic guides to help you understand everything from how the internet works to how to keep your data safe.

A tool that alerts journalists when online content changes.

Processing Algorithms: A Reporter’s Guide
Tools for covering the issue and sources.
Use this proxy to surf anonymously online, hide your IP address, secure your internet connection, hide your internet history, and protect your online identity. Price packages as low as $5 a month.

The Coalition for Women in Journalism
CFWIJ is a New York based, global support organization for women journalists, and documents press freedom for women in 92 countries. Resources include a list of women journalists covering different beats and a COVID-19 map. The Trial calendar that shows when women journalists are facing legal trials after state harassment. Misinformation campaigns and trolls against women journalists is also one of the critical areas CFWIJ covers and offers support in.

Rory Peck Trust: Digital Security Guide for Freelance Journalists
Security Guide for freelance journalists will help you make informed decisions about digital security and protect yourself against attacks. Covers web surfing, passwords and more.

GIJN: Journalist Security Assessment Tool
How secure are you? Walk through this process and find out.

Smartphone Security for the Mobile Journalist
An excellent journal article (free) from Frank Lomonte and Philip J. Sliger.

Global Cyber Alliance: Cybersecurity Toolkit

Security-in-a-Box: Digital Security Tools and Tactics

The Intercept: Surveillance Self-Defense Checklist

DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity
Hack Blossom offers great tips and resources.

Run any suspicious files through this free, encrypted tool to detect any viruses.

Tools and Apps: The Essentials for Covering Silicon Valley
NY Times reporter discusses apps and tools he uses to cover Silicon Valley, including many tools to protect privacy and sources.

CPJ: Digital Safety – Protecting Against Online Attacks

First Draft News: Covering Coronavirus – Privacy and Security Tips for Journalists

Blacklight from The Markup
A real-time web privacy inspector. Who is peeking over your shoulder while you work, watch videos, learn, explore, and shop on the internet? Enter the address of any website, and Blacklight will scan it and reveal the specific user-tracking technologies on the site—and who’s getting your data. You may be surprised at what you learn.

End-to-end encrypted business communication. Tauria includes truly secure video conferencing, webinars, messaging, file sharing and calendar to protect journalists’ sensitive information.

Current Digital Security Resources – Martin Shelton – Medium

Bellingcat’s Open Source Digital Forensics Tools

Better Living Through Online Security and Encryption

Tips to Protect Yourself Against Cyberattacks
Some good tips from Derek Eder, a civic hacker in Chicago. Scroll down the page for the list.

Vox: How to Make Sure Google Deletes Your Data on a Regular Basis

Medium: Digital Security Resources

Have I Been Pwned?
Check to see if your email password has been part of a data breach

EFF: Surveillance Self Defense Kit
Digital security risk assessment for journalists and bloggers.

Metacleaner removes the metadata from files. Storing files in the cloud or sharing files on the Internet is very useful but can be dangerous at the same time. When we upload a certain file, it usually has several details about our identity that, in one way or another, compromises our privacy and offers all users who get access to them personal information about us that we may not want them to have.

First Look Publishes Open Source Journalism Tools for Privacy & Security

Politico: Security and Privacy Issues with Your Favorite Transcription Tools
For sensitive interviews, it might be best to transcribe the old-fashioned way.

International Women’s Media Foundation: Guide to Protecting Newsrooms and Journalists Against OnlineViolence
A resource for newsrooms to better protect staff targeted simply for doing their jobs.

Committee to Protect Journalists Security Guide
Leaderboard of what news websites offer the best security.

OTR (Off the record)
End-to-end encryption tool.

End-to-end encryption tool.

Self-hosted, end-to-end encryption tool.

Security Tools for Investigative Journalists
Powerpoint full of resources.

TrollBusters: Removing Your Mailing Address from Data Broker Sites

Meta/Facebook: Safety Tips for Journalists Using Facebook

Reuters Institute: Protecting Journalists From Online Abuse: A Guide for Newsrooms

GIJN: Five Ways to Stay Online During a Government Internet Shutdown
Experts in privacy and security offer advice to circumvent these shutdowns.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Surveillance Self-Defense

Freedom of the Press Foundation Encryption Guide

The Guardian Project
Tools to create easy-to-use open source apps, mobile OS security enhancements, and customized mobile devices for people around the world to help them communicate more freely, and protect themselves from intrusion and monitoring.

Cybercrime Information Center
A repository for studies, measurements, data sets, statistics, and analyses of global security threats involving the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS), IP addresses, and hosting and cloud networks. The Center identifies DNS and hosting systems abuse and the contexts in which they occur—particularly those in which criminal abuse is highly concentrated.

Onion Share
Open source tool that lets you securely and anonymously share a file of any size.

An easy-to-use encrypted messaging app.

GIJN: Tips on Uncovering the Spy Tech Your Government Buys
A guide on how reporters can unearth spyware surveillance technology acquired by their govts, based on interviews with expert sources —from investigative reporters to cybersecurity experts, etc.

PC World: Tips to Cover Digital Footprints and Regain Your Privacy

ProPublica/ONA: Digital Security for Newbies
PDF of a presentation with great tips and resources to keep your work protected.

If journalists have exclusive stories or video recordings, then they need to securely store them. They can store videos in this secure video platform. It is great for securely sharing video, audio and image files on an end-to-end encrypted platform.

The Taliban Detained Me for Doing My Job. I Can Never Go Back.
Foreign Policy columnist Lynne O’Donnell on a harrowing return to Kabul, almost one year after the United States left Afghanistan.

Source: Digital Security for Journalists, Part I

Source: Digital Security for Journalists, Part II

International Center for Journalists: Reporting Tools
Guides to mobile security, research and more.

Beef up Your Digital Security While Working from Home

This tool from Thomson Reuters allows users to document and manage online harassment and abuse, so they can take control of their social media feeds and focus on their professional activities.


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