Best Practices and Tips for Digital Security and Privacy for Journalists

As a journalist, your mission is to inform citizens about their society, government, and other things so they can make the best decisions for themselves. Unfortunately, what you'll soon find out (if you haven't already) is that those in power usually don't want you to do that and the more you dig for sensitive information, the more they will try to silence you.

Digital security does not apply just to you and your data. Investigative journalists must also think about the potential danger they put their sources in. This is why, in this article, we'll go over the best practices and the steps you should be taking as a journalist to protect your data and your sources' data in the digital space.

Best Practices for Navigating the Internet

Navigating the Internet

One of the best ways to find the right information today is, of course, to search for it online. Investigative journalists, however, don't just Google things hoping to get to the story.

Instead, they often go deeper into the depths of the Internet called the deep and dark web. This might make your digital footprint "more interesting" than a regular Internet user's who might just be using Google for shopping and surfing.

How you act and how you appear on the Internet when someone searches for your name can have a huge impact on how people see you as a journalist and with that your stories. This can be used to discredit you or to pressure you to "lay off" a story so start with these best practices to clean out your Internet act:

Best Practices for Securing Your Physical Devices

 Securing Your Physical Devices

Your computer and mobile phone are both important for your work as an investigative journalist, but if they get into the wrong hands they can put you and your sources at risk.

This is why the following best practices should be used by journalists to protect their devices. For a more comprehensive look at how to make your Android smartphone more private and secure check out this article that we wrote.

Best Practices for Social Media Accounts

 Securing Your Physical Devices

Social media can be used by investigative journalists to contact their sources, connect with other journalists, and promote their work. However, as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter gather and store an incredible amount of data about us, using social media also proves to be a risk and therefore you need to approach it carefully.

Here are the best practices you should be aware of when using social media to bolster your privacy and security on them:

Best Practices for Email

CTemplar

Email is still the number one way to communicate professionally and as a journalist, you'll rely on it to communicate with your sources, colleagues, editor, and others.

Of course, this also means that your email will contain a lot of sensitive data that can put you and your contacts at risk, so finding an email provider that will protect your digital privacy is important.

Let's review the best practices you should be pursuing when it comes to email:

Conclusion

If you're a journalist, digital safety becomes much more important than for regular Internet users, especially as, in addition to your personal information, you also need to protect the sensitive information belonging to your sources.

Journalists around the world are often under pressure from governments and corporations that don't want their secrets exposed and we hope that this digital security guide will help protect journalists online.

Finally, remember that it's much easier to attack journalists if they are isolated and working solo. For better protection, join networks that support journalism such as Global Investigative Journalism Network, International Press Institute, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.