Encryption is essentially protecting yourself and your source from any danger.

By Kwandokuhle Njoli

Encryption is the most effective way to archive data securely. Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that outsiders cannot read the information unless they have a special code to decrypt.

This was the discussion underway at the Encryption workshop, held at the 10th Global Investigative journalism conference 2017 at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The speakers all recommended encryption as the best tool for protecting both journalist and source.  Fedrik Lauren from Swedish television stressed the importance of protecting sources, because they may be putting their life in danger by giving the journalist a story.

“Journalists are vulnerable if they are not equipped with encryption tools,” said Lauren.

He pointed out that Facebook is highly insecure and warned against discussing personal high-end information on this platform.  “Generally you need to weigh up the threat level of the site you are using,” he said. “Ask yourself questions like: what is the threat level from 0% to 100% and, can the government access it?”

Methods for protecting both source and their information were listed in the workshop. These included tools such as Signal, Tor, PGP for webmail. Serena Tinari from Re-check in Switzerland recommended a site known as TOR which allows you to hide your tracks (TorProject.org).

She warned against using google to search for information on a person.  “Google is insecure,” she said. “Rather use Mozilla firefox as it ensures your anonymity”.  She took the audience to Resource//jid1-aqqsmbyb0a8adg-at-jetpack-Mozilla firefox.

The workshop ended with presentations showing ways of using safe sites to search and to communicate.

PHOTO: Serena Tinari gives delegates tips on how to protect themselves and their sources when using the internet to communicate. Photo: Kayla De Jesus Freitas