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See our updated and expanded digital security resources

See our updated and expanded digital security resources

Digital security is a quickly evolving topic. We've just updated all our digital security resource pages and added some new ones.

Today we've published a significant update to Rory Peck Trust's online resource on Digital Security. We've been making small changes to the pages since they were first published just over two years ago, but this update includes a lot of new information on already existing pages, and a few new topics as well. We've also re-organised each page to make them easier to navigate, dig into and hopefully find the answers you're looking for.

New content aside, we've kept to the same philosophy: that digital security needs to be integral to all of your safety planning and preparation. It should feed into your risk assessment and communications plan, and tailored to your own individual situation. The goal isn't to load yourself down with lots of technology or complicated strategies, but to identify the specific tactics you need to accomplish specific tasks as safely as possible. Here's what's new and improved:

All of our "Getting Started" pages have been updated and expanded to reflect the latest trends, troubles, tactics and technology. But here are some key changes among them all:
  • More on malware: Journalists are facing an increasing number of attacks with malware. We've expanded our page on the topic to include more information on how to prevent your online accounts, computer or mobile from being attacked.
  • A lot more on mobiles: Smartphones are ubiquitous and using them is instinctive, but knowing what your mobile is doing and saying about you is vital. We've identified how and why it does this and how to stop it when you need to.
  • Added measures to avoid being monitored while working online: Whilst its impossible to completely stop yourself from being monitored, you can reduce it. We look at how to increase your window of privacy or anonymity to accomplish specific tasks, quickly and securely.

Some of these are the results of questions we've recieved, events we've attended or through the Trust's work with freelancers. We've kept the focus on practical solutions that can be adopted immediately and developed over time as needed.
  • Avoid social engineering attacks: A new resource page that looks at how hackers exploit security flaws in people as opposed to their technology. We look at what it is, how to notice if it's happening to you, and how to shut it down.
  • Create better passwords: Passwords are how we manage everything online, yet creating strong ones and using them correctly is neither common practice or intuitive. Our resource page shows you how to test your abilities at making stronger passwords and offers different strategies for making them and using them.
I hope this resource continues to be useful to freelancers, and helps untangle — and make more accessible — a topic that I know many find intimidating. Better digital security can improve your own physical safety, but it's also about taking responsibility to protect your sources, colleagues and other contacts. Getting started is easy. Make a better password. Adopt a more secure way to send an instant message. Turn on 2-factor authentication on your accounts. Move on from there.

Andrew Lyons is the digital producer and project manager for Rory Peck Trust. You can find him on Twitter @drew3ooo.

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