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digital security

Digital security includes all of the ways we protect our devices, computers, and internet accounts from those who would do us harm. It involves using passwords, changing passwords often, keeping software up to date, and avoiding dangerous situations (e.g., not clicking on suspicious websites or email). It also involves avoiding public WiFi and using Signal for encrypted messaging on cell phones.

Cyber attacks and data breaches are increasingly common for any kind of business, but they’re especially concerning for organizations that rely on sensitive information to do their work. A single breach can damage a company’s reputation, cost it customers, and hurt its bottom line. In addition, the growing trend toward remote work means that it’s even harder for companies to keep track of digital security in the workplace.

Some digital security measures are relatively simple: Don’t write passwords down on sticky notes, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, and be wary of “phishing” scams. Encrypting hard drives and flash drives is another important step, as is enabling two-step authentication on online accounts, such as email and social media. A good password manager is essential. And last but not least, avoid sharing personal or work related information publicly.

The Committee to Protect Journalists Digital Safety Kit has helpful tips for journalists, including a chapter on device security. There’s also a guide to surviving doxing, and a curriculum on how to combat doxing for workshop facilitators.