Digital tools and platforms have become extremely important to journalists’ work, but this also means there is a growing number of tools and platforms that can work against journalists as means of surveillance, identification and harassment by States, non-State armed groups and private corporations. Protecting yourself can no longer mean just securing your physical safety; it must also include securing your digital safety—because any breaches to your online life also put your physical life at risk.
When journalists are persecuted for their work, they often seek help from one or several of the organizations around the world that operate emergency assistance programs specifically for them. If you find yourself in this precarious situation, it is important to be aware of the digital security risks that you face even when contacting these programs. Taking steps to eliminate or mitigate these risks will not only protect yourself during your search for help; it will also improve your digital security in the other professional and personal parts of your life.
The following resource offers information, tips and resources about practices that can be implemented by journalists to help them protect themselves from digital vulnerabilities that State and non-State actors can exploit. If you are thinking about contacting an emergency assistance program, making use of this resource will ensure you don’t put yourself at even greater risk. If you have already contacted an emergency assistance program or just want to learn easy, popular or important ways to secure your digital life, this resource will also increase your awareness of the risks associated with the digital tools and platforms you use.