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Human Rights Defender? How Do I Protect Myself?

By J.Austine
Human Rights Defender? How Do I Protect Myself?

A human rights defender is a person who protects the rights of individuals. Typically, those who are unable to defend themselves. Human rights defenders are often at risk of harassment, threats, violence, and other human rights violations. Many were tortured or killed in order to stop their work defending others from abuses of power

Human Rights Defender! How Do I Protect Myself?

It is vital to have protections in place to safeguard against threats and attacks that come from the outside. Therefore, human right defender should have protection to avoid being hacked and to protect their private data.
Often hackers use the internet for malicious intent such as identity theft or fraud. Some attackers use their skills in hacking computers and phones to access information. They may sell data to dark web marketplace or ask for ransom not to reveal private data about the activist.
It is not enough for a human rights defender to use an email address that has a privacy setting because this may not offer sufficient protection. Consider taking other measures such as using two-factor authentication or constantly logging off after sending an email.
This is a question that many human rights defenders and activists are asking themselves. They don’t want to be hacked or have their personal information exposed online.
In order to protect yourself, you can follow these steps:

Keep your computer, phone, and tablets updated with the latest software.

"Every day, human rights defenders put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms and rights. Facing threats of violence, harassment, and death, these unsung heroes are often cautious about any form of digital communication that could be tracked by repressive governments. These courageous people have a right to feel safe online."
Having strong security measures in place is very important for human rights defenders. Email is one way they can receive personal information from colleagues and activists around the world. This information can be compromised if not protected well enough from hackers or government surveillance.
It's vital for human rights defenders to keep their computers updated with the latest software patches to avoid hackers infiltrating the devices, stealing private data, and causing damage all around the world. They also need to make sure they're using a secure email connection for their conversation needs.

Use strong passwords containing letters, numbers, and symbols for all of your accounts.

Passwords are like your key to the door of digital assets. The stronger your password is, the more difficult it will be for hackers to break.

The Hacker’s Approach:

Hackers often use different techniques to get passwords, depending on what kind of information they have about the target user and what types of passwords they've tried in the past. One common technique is called a brute-force attack, where a hacker tries various combinations of numbers, letters, and symbols until they find the right one. Another approach is called an "offline attack," where a hacker guesses a user's password by using publicly available information about them (like their name and age).

What you should do:

Passwords are essential for securing your data. Remember, not to use the same password twice, and you should always use a strong password (e.g., one that includes a mixture of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols).
Passwords are the cornerstone of security on any system. They act as the only barrier between hackers and your personal information, so it's essential to have a strong password that's easy to remember but difficult to guess.

Don't share personal information on social media platforms or make yourself vulnerable to hacking by using outdated browsers like Internet Explorer; use Chrome or Firefox instead.

In simple terms

The type of data that these social media platforms store is highly sensitive. Simply put, the more information you share on these platforms, the more vulnerable you are to hacking.
There are many Facebook profiles that have been hacked or experienced some other form of a cyber security breach in the past few years.
This has happened because people need to be aware of how they are using social media and what they are putting out there on these platforms. If possible, they should not share any personal information or make themselves vulnerable to hacking by using outdated browsers.
Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat have turned into a necessity for many people. However, with the ever-present danger of getting hacked lurking around the corner, you should know that you are putting yourself at risk of exposing your personal information if you are not taking precautions.
Some of the most common hacks involve gaining access to your social media account or phishing your email and password. In case yoyou're u'using an old browser, it may be time to update it so that you can start protecting yourself from hackers who use an automated system to find vulnerabilities on outdated browsers.

Additional Ways Human Rights Defender Can Protect Themselves

Since the defenders are ever at risk, it's vital to have security other than doing the regular practices. Consider doing the following to stay protected always:
Ask for emergency support from supporting organizations like Front Line Defenders. They listen to appeals to relevant authorities, practice safety by relocating defenders to secure locations, assist with legal and medical help, and many more.
Protect devices and also install spyware software to protect your data at all times.
Collaborate with other defenders to help you when in problems. You can do this through advocacy that will help in creating a protection mechanism.
Build a public support base – where you can be notified about suspicious activities happening outside your apartments, like the presence of cars and weary-looking people who may mete government excesses on you.
As a human rights defender, you can never tell when the government or attacker will strike. Besides, most of the activities you engage in are ever of the radar of law enforcement. So, the only noble way to be secure is to work on your own protection from the onset. Ensure no one can infringe on your data at any time, which is the greatest loophole to attack you!

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