RoryPeck Trust
Resources

Your Security: Assessment Form

Updated: September 2013

Journalists in exile often feel threatened in their country of refuge. Filling in a Security Assessment can help you determine the aspects of your life that make you vulnerable, and find ways to manage and reduce any risks.

This section was written in collaboration with Article 19 - East Africa and Protection International - East Africa.
 

Download the Security Assessment Form

Take time to fill in this form.  It will enable you to recognise and assess the risks that you face in your country of exile and help you take steps to reduce them. It will also help you to organise and rationalise any fears that you have about your situation and security.  You are encouraged to do this in writing.

When should I fill in the Security Assessment? 

Try to fill in the Security Assessment as soon as possible after you arrive in your country of refuge.
 
Update it at regular intervals, especially when your circumstances change (for instance if you move home, if there are new arrivals in your location, or violent events against journalists in your home country).
 

How do I use the Security Assessment?

This assessment is for your own personal use.
 
You can anonymize your Risk Assessment if you think personal details could expose you. Don’t keep hard copies of your Risk Assessment with other documents that identify you.
 
Assess what’s the safest way to complete and store your Risk Assessment.  Be careful if you are filling out the form in a public place, and make sure that your completed form is stored safely.  For further information, see the following note on your online security.
 
Try to think rationally, logically and honestly about your circumstances, and fill in the security assessment accordingly.


Understanding and reducing risks

The aim of this security assessment is to help you take control of your situation and determine the aspects of your life that make you vulnerable as a journalist in exile.  When you've filled it in you may want to action all or one of the following:

  • Accept the risks: so that you feel able to live with them;
  • Share the risks with other journalists, trusted people or human rights / journalist organisations so you can get help in reducing potential threats;
  • Reduce the risks by working on threats and vulnerabilities,  or by changing or stopping your activities.
Think about the individuals and organizations that can support you to do this. They will also be the ones you can call in case of an emergency – take a look at our Getting Support resource.

Next: Security Assessment: Help and Guidance

Image: Daniel J Gerstle  |  Humanitarianbazaar.org

Note on your online security

If you are working on sensitive information in an internet cafe, or a place generally accessible to the public:

  • Do not save any documents on the computer directly – use a memory stick, encrypted if possible;
  • Be aware of people looking over your shoulder;
  • Make sure you log out of all emails and social network accounts before leaving the internet cafĂ©;
  • Make sure your passwords are not easy to guess;
  • Keep your passwords safe and change them at regular intervals.
  • Be aware that what you write and post on social networks can be seen by anyone.
RPT has produced a resource on digital security if you would like to find more in-depth information. Keep in mind it might not always be relevant to your context.