Expert Offers Tips on Online Media Safety, Freedom

A New Media and Information Resource Specialist at the US embassy in Abuja, Joe Adah, has advised journalists to pay attention to their digital footprints and protect themselves and their sources.

Adah gave the advice during a press parley in Abuja organized by the Nigerian Union of Journalist, Federal Capital Territory chapter and the US embassy in commemoration of the World Press Day 2022.

According to him, journalists must learn to protect their digital assets to safeguard their freedom.

“As journalists, I believe that your sources are your most valued assets. So, if you have sources and do a report that exposes them you put them at risk. So you will need to protect your digital assets by putting a password that cannot be bypassed.’ he advice.

Adah stated further that many Nigerians are careless with their passwords and do not understand that using similar passwords makes it easy for their information and sources to be harmed.

He said, “When people want to hack, the first place to start is dumps of hacked passwords. There are always times that there are data breaches, where maybe, yahoo is hacked and usernames and passwords are stolen and sold out on the dark web.

“Passwords can be hacked and it’s easier today than ever because of artificial intelligence. So, the best way to keep yourself safe is to change your password that includes numbers, alphabets, and special characters, after every six months.

“You also need to link your socials with a two factor authentication because once they can access your social accounts it’s much easier to hack your email.”

On how to secure communication with a source, Adah advised the over 20 journalist present at the conference to take advantage of WhatsApp as it has end -to- end encryption. This means that the app prevents data from being read or secretly modified, other than by the true sender and recipient.

In her opening remarks, the U.S. Embassy Spokesperson, Jeanne Clark, noted that although the use of technology has greatly aided the work of journalists worldwide, it is now associated with increased risk of harassment.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Journalism Under Digital Siege,” reflects concerns about how technology is being used to track and spy on journalists, and the negative impact this would have for the safety of journalists and the protection of their sources.

In order to guarantee press freedom in Nigeria, a senior journalist at The Nation newspapers, Yusuf Ali, said media houses would need to be more professional in order to advocate and demand for free press.

” It’s only when we uphold strong ethnics that we can secure press freedom , because these days we have publishers who have become media advisesr to officials we are to call to order, and some that are not adhering to government policies like the remittance of pension.”

The Paradise News

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