Tools and resources by Free Press Unlimited

Totem: online learning platform for digital safety

Digital security has never been more important for journalists and activists. Threats often come from states, that gather extensive information about journalists such as their whereabouts, networks or sources. Authorities can then use this intelligence to intimidate the media. Journalists and media organisations often lack the awareness and capacity effectively to protect themselves, their information and their sources. If private online communication of these journalists ends up in the wrong hands, it may be used against them or their sources.

Because of this, Free Press Unlimited and Greenhost created the online learning platform Totem. On this platform, journalists and activists can learn how to apply tools and tactics for digital safety and privacy in their work. An increasing amount of courses available on the platform, amongst which the following which are (also) available in English (EN), but in some cases also in French (FR), Spanish (ES), Farsi (FA), Arabic (AR), and Russian (RU).

  • How the internet works
    The internet is a complex and diverse infrastructure. We break down the fundamentals.
    In EN, FR, ES, FA, AR
  • Phishing attacks
    Learn how to prevent phishing by recognising an attack, and what to do if you realise you have been phished.
    In EN, FR, ES, FA, AR, RU
  • Secure messaging apps
    Messaging apps have become a key communication tool in our daily lives. How to choose the ones that are safest for you?
    In EN, FR, ES, FA, AR, RU
  • Secure passwords
    Passwords are your first line of defence against anyone who would like to hack into these accounts.
    In EN, FR, ES, FA, AR, RU
  • Know your trolls
    Identify the abuse you are receiving online and who may be behind it, and learn some strategies to be better prepared.
    Developed by IWMF
    In EN, FR, ES, AR, RU
  • How to protect your identity online
    The aim of this course is to help you adopt effective tools and practical strategies to protect your anonymity and that of the people you care about when using the Internet.
    In EN, AR
  • Secure your devices
    The goal of this course is to understand some of the key threats to your devices (phone, computer, laptop), both physical and digital, and explore strategies to help mitigate the risks.
    In EN, AR, RU
  • How to bypass internet censorship
    This course explains how to stop censorship stopping you, and how you can improve your online privacy and security.
    In EN, ES, FA, AR
  • Keep it private
    Learn how the personal information you are posting online can be used by others to threaten and attack you, and which strategies you can employ to be better prepared.
    Developed by IWMF
    In EN, FR, ES, AR
  • Social media research
    How to discover and verify information posted on the social media platform Instagram.
    In EN, FA
  • Desk research
    Find documents and numbers, optimise your Google Search results, and search for specific courses.
    In EN, FA
  • Field research
    We address how field research can benefit you and discuss risks in conducting field investigations in a repressive environment.
    In EN, FA
  • Human rights documentation
    Human rights documentation is a way of capturing, preserving, and sharing stories of human rights abuses to seek redress for the harm, hold perpetrators of abuse accountable and secure the collective memories of the past for the present and future.
    In EN
  • Risk analysis
    Working as a journalist entails risks. This course is designed to teach you to assess your risk in a comprehensive manner by addressing digital, psycho-emotional, physical and legal risks.
    In EN, ES

Money Trail: training and grants for financial investigative journalists

Investigative financial journalism is often difficult, costly and dangerous. It is also essential: it brings to light crimes that can hinder economic growth in developing countries and increase equality. Money Trail, implemented by Free Press Unlimited, Oxfam Novib, Finance Uncovered and, focuses on investigative journalists in Asia, Europe and Africa. The aim of the project is to increase the capacity of journalists to produce stories on money laundering, corruption and illicit financing: crimes causing countries throughout the world to lose billions of dollars.

In Money Trail, journalists are supported in uncovering financial wrongdoing through the provision of training, a grants mechanism and campaigning around published stories. In a series of six training sessions, journalists are equipped with the skills and tools to uncover illegal financial practices. Free Press Unlimited contributes to the training by teaching participants how they can enhance their digital security. Investigative journalists learn how to keep laptops, phones and other devices secure and how to keep their investigation and sources safe.

Handbook for European Union Delegations

With inputs from Free Press Unlimited, Media4Democracy established a handbook for EU Delegations entitled Protecting the Safety of Journalists, Protecting Freedom of Expression. Media4Democracy is a EU-funded Technical Assistance Facility strengthening the EU delegations’ ability to implement the EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline. EU Delegations are at the frontline of promoting the principles contained in these Guidelines through their work with authorities, institutions and citizens in third countries. They can have a substantial impact on strengthening governments’ commitment to protect journalists and fight against impunity by supporting the improvement of legal frameworks and the adoption (and implementation) of national protection mechanisms, and by supporting civil society and media actors to defend and advocate for these rights.

This Handbook aims to provide tools and hands-on examples to support EU Delegations in implementing the Guidelines and in taking actions to support the safety and security of journalists in their context.