By Carlie Procell
Mike Tigas, a news applications developer at ProPublica, and Nicole Hensley, a reporter at the New York Daily News, addressed some cybersecurity issues journalists face and offered tips and tricks for working around them.
“As journalists we have to communicate with sources,” Tigas said during the “Digital dark arts” panel. “So we’re in a position where we use technology in a different way. We want to protect our sources.”
Tigas dubbed his half of the session “Defense against the dark arts” and went on to discuss how easily journalists’ data can be compromised.
There two types of data, as well as metadata, that journalist should try to protect:
Data at rest – What’s sitting on your desktop or in your email archive
Data in motion – Any kind of data that’s transferred across networks
Metadata – Data that describes other data
Tigas then explained the resources people use to find information about journalists and other targets, such as:
The “whois” terminal command. Type this command and then a URL name into the terminal and you can find a multitude of information about whoever owns that domain.
Vin.place – A website where you can find vehicle purchase records for any car by searching the owner’s name or VIN.
Journalists can use several tools to better safeguard their data, such as:
Hensley spoke about her experience as a breaking news reporter and explained how she uses several tricks to track people down from her desk.
Carlie Procell is a sophomore journalism major at the University of Missouri with an emphasis in design and a minor in computer science.