As online harm and harassment against journalists increases, it is important to be prepared for different scenarios including being hacked, doxxed or harassed.

Be Prepared

Preventative and on-going steps you can take:

  • Keep an incident log.
  • Regularly search yourself online and delete any sensitive information.
  • Secure your accounts with unique passwords and two-step verification.
  • Familiarize yourself with the sites you use; read their privacy statements, learn how to report harassment and how to regain your account incase of a hacking.

Online Harassment

If your account has been hacked, you can:

  • Contact the site to regain access. The following sites offer further instructions on how to regain access to your account:

  • Create stronger passwords and enable two-factor authentication.
  • Access Now and Nothing 2 Hide provide emergency digital security support 24/7.

If you have been doxxed, you can:

  • Assess the situation
  • Alert your employer. Refer to your company’s online harm policy.
  • Keep an incident log. If you do not feel comfortable looking at the comments, assign a friend or co-worker to assess the threats and record them. Note comments that are especially threatening and account names of repeated attackers.
  • Make all your accounts private.
  • Contact law enforcement, as necessary.
  • Access Now and Nothing 2 Hide provide emergency digital security support 24/7.

If you are receiving threats, you can:

  • Assess the situation
  • Alert your employer. Refer to your company’s online harm policy.
  • Seek help. Reach out to organizations focused on providing technical, legal or psychological support. Links to several organizations are provided below and in our resources section.

  • Keep an incident log. If you do not feel comfortable looking at the comments, assign a friend or co-worker to assess the threats and record them. Note comments that are especially threatening and account names of repeated attackers.
  • Make all your accounts private.
  • Contact law enforcement, as necessary.

Digital Support

Access Now
Access Now provides  emergency digital security support 24/7  and they respond to all requests within two hours.

Nothing 2 Hide
An emergency digital service in French and in English dedicated to helping journalists with cybersecurity threats. This service is available 24/7 and free of charge. They also provide training in digital safety.

Psychological Support

Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma
Canadian Journalism Forum provides a trauma assistance fund for freelance journalists. This fund offers funding to confidential counselling.

Taking Care: A report on mental health, well-being and trauma among Canadian media
The Taking Care Report is a survey-based study looking at stress and trauma Canadian media workers are exposed to because of their work. Taking Care covers a wide range of topics including personal experiences, COVID-19 effects on mental health, workplace culture and support, harassment and trauma training amongst other issues.

CBC’s “Not OK” newsroom guide for managing online harm
This is a guide for newsroom leaders and editors focusing on what to do before, during and after online harassment incidents. This is a living guide that is being continuously updated.

The Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund
The Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund provides Black journalists with financial support for mental health services.

The Committee to Protect Journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an American independent non-governmental organization. It can help journalists with the cost of covering trauma support.

Legal Support

Canada Press Freedom Project
Log your specific instance of harassment in this database.

Journalists in Distress Fund
Canadian Journalists For Free Expression provide legal and medical funding for journalists who have been traumatized by their work.

The Committee to Protect Journalists Guide to Legal Rights in Canada

Media Defense
Media Defense is an international human rights organization that provides legal help to journalists and independent media around the world. Their lawyers provide support for: online threats, doxxing, hacking, deepfakes and more.

Reporters without Borders
Reporters without Borders is an NGO that helps journalists cover legal costs resulting from your work as a journalist.

The Rory Peck Trust
The Rory Peck supports freelance journalists and can help cover legal feels.

The International Women’s Media Foundation
The International Women’s Media Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses on female journalists. TWMF can provide journalists cover legal costs and connect them to lawyers.