An IT expert, Mr Ambrose Ariagiegbe, on Tuesday stressed the need for News Agency of Nigeria, NAN journalists to imbibe the habit of protecting from hackers data on their devices.
Ariagiegbe offered this advice at the start of a two-day training of some editorial staff of NAN on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said it was important for journalists to learn how to protect from hackers their devices such as mobile phones and computers.
Ariagiegbe said that because of the importance of the journalists’ job, more attention is paid on their stories, whereas securing their data was imperative.
“This is the reason we are having this training so that you can secure your digital identity and your stories can be brought to limelight without being hacked,’’ he said.
He said one of the ways that a journalist could secure his data was to always assume that someone was attacking his information and always assume that the attackers were in the computer.
“Use strong password, assume that no system is perfect and system needs to be updated because of security threats, and stay connected to a developer to give you patches.
“Let your devices that need to be online be there and let those ones that are sensitive be off internet as virus are always transferred via network and storage media,’’ he said.
Ariagiegbe also harped on the need to patronise recognised software makers instead of pirated software.
“Then use an open source version but don’t download free software by using commercial version software so you can stay connected to the updates.
“Use software they are secured because using free software is risky as you don’t know why the publisher published it.
“When you use software that is not secured, the sort code is not open, which means only the publisher knows what he has written in his code and it could be anything,’’ he said.
The expert said the publisher might want to advertise, steal ones’ data or use the computer as a zombie to attack other computers.
He said website also needed to be protected, adding that the website should also be encrypted, “which means whatever the website is sending to you, cannot be attacked by middleman, vice versa’’.
NAN reports that Story Lab Academy has been training NAN reporters on different areas in digital reporting that will beneficial to their jobs.
They include the use of Google image, charts, Google advanced image search, among others.