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Access Now Digital Security Helpline shows risks activists face

For activists and human rights defenders, the internet has become an invaluable tool for connecting with people around the world to share their stories and fight for social justice. However, the increased visibility that comes with using digital tools poses a great risk to these individuals, as they can be targeted by oppressive governments or authoritarian regimes. To help protect activists in this situation, Access Now launched a Digital Security Helpline. The helpline provides technical assistance and advice on how to stay safe online while still being able to access vital resources and participate in advocacy campaigns. In this article, we discuss the risks that activists face when going online and how Access Now’s Digital Security Helpline is helping them navigate these risks.

The risks activists face

The risks activists face are many and varied. They may be targeted by government or corporate entities for their work, or they may be caught in the crossfire of conflict. They may also be subjected to surveillance and hacking, or have their personal data stolen or leaked. These risks can have a serious impact on activists' safety and security, as well as their ability to continue their work. That's why it's so important for activists to have access to resources like the Access Now Digital Security Helpline, which can help them identify and mitigate the risks they face.

Key findings

The Access Now digital security helpline has released new data that highlights the risks faced by online activists. The data shows that activists are being targeted by sophisticated attacks that are designed to compromise their digital security. The most common type of attack is phishing, which is used to trick users into revealing their passwords or other sensitive information. Activists are also being targeted with malware and spyware, which can be used to track their online activity or steal their personal information. Access Now is calling on all internet users to be vigilant and take steps to protect themselves from these types of attacks. They recommend using strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and up-to-date anti-virus software.

The Digital Security Helpline

The Access Now Digital Security Helpline is a free and confidential service that provides personalized help to activists and journalists who are at risk online. The helpline is staffed by digital security experts who can provide one-on-one support, advice, and resources to users in need. The helpline has helped hundreds of users in over 60 countries since it launched in 2015. In 2017 alone, the helpline received over 1,600 requests for assistance. The most common type of request was for help with password management, followed by questions about data security and privacy. Activists and journalists face a variety of risks when using digital tools and technologies. These risks can include everything from harassment and threats of violence to having their accounts hacked or their data compromised. The Access Now Digital Security Helpline can help users identify and mitigate these risks so that they can continue to do their important work safely and securely.

How the Helpline can help activists

Activists around the world face risks every day. They may be targeted by government officials or other groups because of their work, or they may simply not have the knowledge or resources to protect themselves from digital threats. The Access Now Digital Security Helpline can help. Our Helpline has a team of experts who can provide personalized assistance to activists who are facing digital security risks. We can help them understand the threats they face and recommend specific tools and strategies to protect themselves. We also offer training on digital security topics, so activists can learn how to better protect themselves in the future. If you're an activist who is facing digital security risks, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to help you stay safe so you can continue your important work.


The Access Now Digital Security Helpline has been a great source of help and support for activists who are at risk of digital surveillance, censorship, or other forms of online harassment. It is an invaluable resource that helps ensure the safety and security of these individuals, allowing them to continue their important work without fear. If you feel like you are at risk, please do not hesitate to reach out to this helpline for assistance.

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