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In this article, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has compiled 40 online resources to help journalists deepen their knowledge and keep up-to-date on digital security.

Nowadays, journalists cannot avoid using digital tools in their work or their private lives. Reporting involves wielding various digital devices, softwares and apps that can tremendously facilitate the reporting process, but that also present risks. This is the reason why it has become indispensable for journalists to have a comprehensive understanding of digital security and the capacity to update their knowledge in this ever-changing field.

As our technology has advanced, so has the ability of governments and other third parties to surveil, harass or censor journalists. Meanwhile, national and international laws have not sufficiently adapted to protect journalists and their sources.

Journalists must allocate time to integrating basic digital security measures into their everyday life. The following list of references offers a variety of useful resources and links designed to help journalists create their own customisable digital literacy plan.

1. General resources on digital security

2. How to identify digital threats

3. How to browse the web safely

Secure browsers — These browsers have built-in security systems that allow users to surf the web privately:

    • Tor — an encrypted internet network and browser that allows users to browse the web undetected while getting past firewalls.
    • DuckDuckGo — a search engine that allows unfiltered private web searching without trackers.
    • Brave — a secure web browser that blocks ads and trackers.

VPN — A virtual private network (VPN) hides a person’s internet traffic, metadata, and activity while browsing the web.

Antivirus software — There are many free security solutions that can protect a person from viruses they may encounter on the web or in a phishing attempt:

    • ClamAV — Open-source antivirus engine for detecting viruses, malware, and other threats.
    • Avast — Free, award-winning antivirus software.
    • Avira — Top antivirus software available for both PC and mobile devices.

4. How to safely use social media 

Secure accounts access with strong passwords.

Limit sharing information online.

Be aware of online harassment on social media platforms

5. How to safely communicate online

Messaging apps. Journalists are recommended to use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Session, but never use known government-monitored apps such as WeChat. 

Email services. Tech experts recommend that journalists encrypt emails to protect their data and communications. 

Recording and transcription tools. Journalists should avoid using automated transcription tools for sensitive interviews.