Manisha Aryal, ed.
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
November 7, 2012
SpeakSafe: Media Workers’ Toolkit for Safer Online and Mobile Practices

This toolkit introduces reporters, journalists, bloggers, and media workers to practices meant to maintain control of their information and communications. It also introduces online resources where users can find additional information, tutorials, and software.

According to the introduction, as people who dig for information, produce media content on critical social and political issues, disseminate facts, ideas, and opinions through digital platforms, it is important that journalists and bloggers understand the sociopolitical contexts in which they operate. It is also recommended these users and groups understand the interests and technological capabilities of those (governments, organised crime groups, etc.) who want to limit the public’s access to information and are aggressively taking steps to curtail it. This resource is intended to help media professionals protect themselves and their sources and ensure their digital security.

This online resource is intended to be useful to the users working on personal computers, shared equipment (in a newsroom, cybercafé or press club), or working primarily on a smart phone. The authors have chosen topics from online sources and divided solutions into three categories:

  • The Basics – essential/urgent fixes, many of which are recommended to be implemented immediately
  • Advanced Techniques that are more technical, but suggested to be useful to learn
  • More Resources – related material, available for free on the Web, where users can obtain explanations and information about specific topics of interest.

Each topic also includes a checklist of recommended activities as well as progress tracking systems. Among the topics covered in the toolkit are:

  • Data Protection.
  • Safer Email, websurfing, wi-fi, chat communications, and social networking.
  • Data Deletion.
  • Safer use of mobile technologies.
  • "What if" scenarios.
  • Links to additional Digital Security resources.

The toolkit focuses on Windows and Windows-based applications. The authors note that Mac- and Linux-specific information is intended to be produced at a later time.