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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Venezuelan journalist shares tips on how to avoid cyber attacks



Despite the Internet's essential role in journalism today, few reporters take the issue of cyber security seriously. Recent cyber attacks on journalists in Venezuela reinforce the fact that the Internet is not without its risks.

Venezuelan technology journalist Luis Carlos Díaz, who received threats from pro-President Chávez hackers, says that it's possible to avoid online attacks with simple measures. Díaz shared his recommendations with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas on how to avoid becoming a victim of online crime.

-Choose strong passwords with more than 10 characters that combine upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
-Surf reliable websites over reliable connections. Public Wi-Fi and cybercafes are not safe places to use the Internet.
-Use a separate e-mail from your personal one to manage your social networks. This way if your e-mail is hacked, your social media accounts will still be safe.
-Do not repeat passwords.
-If you have Gmail, use two-step verification.
-Set your Twitter and Facebook settings to use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
-Do not reveal information that could put yourself in physical danger, like your geographic location.
-Don't open electronic messages or click on links from people you don't know.
-Keep friends' contact information on hand to let them know if you've been hacked or threatened.
-Don't be afraid.
-Don't let your behavior open you to blackmail.
-Don't keep quiet: self-censorship is the goal of these hackers.



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