Useful Guides & Resources

Updated:July 2016

Useful Guides & Resources

If you’re looking for other in-depth information about some of the subjects discussed in our Digital Security resource, then here are a few of the best guides, tutorials and other resources to be found online.

CPJ's Technology Security Guide

This is part of the Committee to Protect Journalist's overall safety guide. It's a useful page of information that looks at the potential threats a journalist may face in the field and how to think about data and keeping it secure. Mixed in with explanation of key concepts is practical advice on how to improve digital security.

Storymaker’s digital security guide

Storymaker is an open source, Android-based app that aims to help journalists produce news as safely and securely as possible. Part of this app includes a very useful and concise digital security guide, and these are also on the website. It’s got very practical guidance around using mobiles and also includes advice on protecting your sources as well.

Information Security for Journalists

The Centre for Investigative Journalism has created a guide that can be viewed as a series of web pages, in e-book formats or as a PDF. It covers a number of practical issues that journalists may want to know about for using their computers and includes several straight-forward step-by-step sections on installing security software along with ways of using it.

We Fight Censorship’s Online Survival Kit

This great resource offers easy-to-use guides in a variety of languages, covering both introductions to the major areas of concern with digital security as well as tutorials for a number of bits of key software to protect your data.

Privacy Tools

This is a one-stop-shop for software, digital services and more aimed at helping users gain more control over who gets access to information they're storing, sharing or creating. It's got a heavy emphasis on open source solutions that work on Windows, Apple and Linux computers as well as iPhone and Android mobile phones. No matter what kind of technical solution you're looking for, it's probably listed here. This site focuses on tools, rather than habits, though, and using any digital security software requires you to think about why and how you're using it, so installing something isn't enough.

Surveillance Self-Defense

Produced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this guide was created to educate U.S. citizens about government surveillance. Despite this specific focus, it’s also a useful general resource on how to protect your private data from unwanted eyes. It has five main sections, which focus on data stored on your computer, data you transmit via the internet, information stored by third parties and available technologies that you can use to defend yourself from surveillance.

Security-in-a-Box (Various languages)

This is one of the best guides available on the web. Created by Front Line Defenders and the Tactical Technology Collective, it offers 11 how-to booklets covering the basics needed to improve your digital security. Each one is an accessible, in-depth look into many of the issues surrounding the topic. There are also a number of good “hands-on-guides” at this website which explain how to use much of the software described within the booklets.

SKEyes’s Journalist Survival Guide (Arabic and English)

Useful Guides & Resources This one is broken into nine clear lessons, including three on digital security. Each of the three resources are organized by focusing on a practical goal or possible situation. The real selling point is the great animated videos that guide you through each topic, which are accompanied by useful pdf documents. 

CyberArabs (Arabic)

This YouTube channel offers short, useful animated videos on digital security topics in Arabic. It's particularly useful for freelancers working in the Middle East and North Africa. Topics include how to use proxies, how to avoid computer viruses and how to get more privacy when using a mobile phone. They also have a good website which offers more extensive coverage of digital security issues in Arabic.

SaferJourno (Spanish and English)

This interesting resource comes at digital security from a slightly different angle. Produced by Internews, it's a free and open-source curriculum for media trainers who want to teach journalists digital safety and online security. It has six modules on Assessing Digital Risks, Avoiding Malware, Keeping Data Safe, Researching Securely, Keeping Email Safe and Mobile Phone Safety. Although written primarily as teaching plans, the information provided is very in-depth and there are some useful worksheets and accompanying notes.

Manual de Segurdad Digital Y Movil (PDF document, in Spanish)

This resource, written by Mexican journalist Jorge Luis Sierra, and produced by Freedom House and the International Centre for Journalists, offers some great digital security advice for Spanish-speaking freelancers. Produced specifically with Mexican journalists in mind, it offers advice on creating risk-reduction plans and digital and mobile security protocols.

Tibet Action Institute Tech Security Resource (Tibetan)

The Tech Security resource, produced by the Tibet Action Institute, offers informative videos and flyers on some key digital security topics, mobile phone safety, Gmail security and creating strong passwords. The videos, featuring Tibetan comedian Sonam Wangdue, are also pretty funny. The resources are in Tibetan with English subtitles. 


Freelancers working from Ukraine should take a look at this digital security resource, produced by the Institute of Mass Information. It covers 9 essential topics, including how to protect your computer from malicious spyware, how to create strong passwords and how to protect yourself on social networks. 

Do you know of any online guides that freelancers should be aware of? Email us:
Top Image credit: Laptop by Dan Barbus
Left Image credit: Screenshot from SKEyes's Journalist Security Guide
Created: March 2014

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