Staying safe and aware is an integral part of any investigation. When embarking upon an investigation, the safety of your sources and collaborators, your own safety and the safety of your data should always be a priority.
This new introductory article provides the basic methods and tools to help you stay digitally, physically and psychologically safe and aware of potential risks at all times by adopting some basic good practices and tools to keep your human sources, yourself and your evidence protected.
It focuses on the main principles and steps you need to consider before setting out to collect information, verify it and investigate more thoroughly both online and offline. Take it as a starting point to what will become part of your investigator mindset, a set of behaviours and attitudes that should slowly become embedded and adapted to your own context, work style and goals. If you master the basics, you will easily be able to advance and adopt more safety techniques and tools relevant to your particular profile.
- "Think of safety as integral to the investigative mindset, as something you need to plan for and think about. Not just that, but think of it as something that can give you insight into how your digital and physical data traces may expose information. Safety should not be a simple checklist that you need to tick off before you proceed with your investigation. If you think of safety as a checklist, you may end up having a false sense of security." (Safety First, Exposing the Invisible: The Kit)