Digital safety snacks: Protect yourself from online abuse with short videos and workshops

A new series from IWMF, ONA and PEN America

By on May 17, 2022

As journalists, we’re increasingly expected to have an online presence and engage on social media, which puts us at risk of abuse. Reporters from marginalized backgrounds – including women, people of color and LGBTQ+ people – are especially at risk. Abusive trolls join forces to send hateful messages, impersonate users, hack accounts and publish sensitive personal information (aka doxing). Their ultimate goal is to intimidate, discredit and silence journalists to undermine press freedom.

The pandemic has pushed the media industry more online than ever. And now, with the United States heading toward the midterm elections, odds are high that attacks against journalists – online and off – will escalate. But there are concrete steps each of us can take to protect ourselves and fight back.

This June and July, grab your laptops and your phones and sign up for Safety Snacks. PEN America, the Online News Association, and the International Women’s Media Foundation have teamed up to create step-by-step videos and hands-on workshops to help you defend yourself. We’ll explain how to protect your most sensitive accounts from hackers and how to dox yourself before someone else does. We want to empower you to feel safer and more secure while maintaining the public profile you need to do your job.

Register for the workshops


Week 1 (June 13)

  • Episode 1: deDox Yourself Part I (Wait, what info is available about me online?!)
  • Episode 2: deDox Yourself Part II (Sorry, who’s selling my data for pennies?!)
  • Workshop – Thursday, June 16, 12 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. UTC)

Week 2 (June 27)

  • Episode 3: Anti-Hackathon Part I (What’s a factor? And why are there two?)
  • Episode 4: Anti-Hackathon Part II (Nope, your birthday’s not a good password)
  • Workshop – Thursday, June 30, 12 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. UTC) 

Week 3 (July 11)

  • Episode 5: Secure Your Twitter Account (Don’t leave it to fate)
  • Episode 6: Secure Your Facebook Account (Oh no, people can see THAT post from high school?)
  • Workshop – Thursday, July 14, 12 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. UTC)

Week 4 (July 25)

  • Episode 7: Secure Your Insta & LinkedIn Accounts (Yep, those too)
  • Episode 8: Cell Phone Hygiene (You going to call your mother with that phone?) 
  • Workshop – Thursday, July 28, 12 p.m. EDT (4 p.m. UTC)

Register for the workshops