Artwork: Jack Forbes
Artwork: Jack Forbes

Digital Safety: DIY Guides

Strong digital security is crucial for journalists, but dedicated training may be expensive or inaccessible. Luckily, there is a wealth of information online.

The following resources provide step-by-step guidance on how to protect yourself and will help you secure your accounts and mitigate online harassment and possible threats.

Security advice changes frequently, so check the date of any guide you consult to make sure it is recent or regularly updated.

PEN America: Online Harassment Field Manual

Citizen Lab: Security Planner

  • This planner helps you create a personalized action plan and suggests a top priority action that you can do quickly, such as enabling two-step authentication (2FA).
  • Learn how to protect yourself on myriad digital channels and devices, including online shopping and banking; email; and tablets.

TrollBusters: What to Do? Infographic

  • This helpful step-by-step infographic shows how to deal with a range of online threats, whether it’s your website being attacked, being impersonated or doxed, or what to do if threats escalate. Set up by American journalist Michelle Ferrier, the TrollBusters service also provides “online pest control” to writers, journalists, and publishers, including reputation management and social media monitoring services.

Crash Override Network: C.O.A.C.H (Crash Override’s Automated Cybersecurity Helper)

  • A step-by-step guide that coaches you through basic digital security and safety. The guide takes you through strengthening the security of your online accounts; cleaning up or removing old accounts; and making websites harder to attack.
  • Crash Override Network also has a detailed guide to best practices if you’ve been doxed.

Johanna Vehkoo via the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma: Dealing with Hate Campaigns: Toolkit for Journalists

  • Created by a Finnish journalist, this guide (also available en español) details what you should do if you’re the target of a hate campaign.
  • The kit contains advice for bosses and colleagues on how to help journalists who are being targeted.

Access Now: Self-Doxing Guide

  • This guide shows you how to search for information about yourself that is already on the internet so that you can take it down or hide it to prevent doxing.

For more CPJ advice on digital safety, see:

CPJ’s Digital Safety Kit is available in English, French, Russian, and Spanish.