CR’s Security Planner Featured on CISA’s High-Risk Communities Webpage

Security Planner is pleased to be included in CISA’s High-Risk Communities webpage, which launched today as the product of a year-long collaborative effort led by the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC). The goal of the effort is to detect, prevent, and mitigate harmful cyber activity targeting high-risk communities, including journalists, activists, non-profit organizations, and under-resourced groups that are disproportionately targeted by ideologically motivated cyber threat actors. 

CR’s Security Planner allows people to create a digital security plan that’s customized to their needs and the devices they use. This is part of Consumer Reports’ commitment to improve people’s knowledge of how to prevent and respond to security issues they are most likely to face.

Following cybersecurity best practices is an effective preventive approach for both low-risk and high-risk communities: Taking care of the basics can minimize vulnerability to targeted attacks and make any remaining issues easier to identify and address.

Security Planner includes step-by-step instructions on how to:

  • Back up your data and devices
  • Control how your data is shared by adjusting settings on popular apps and fitness devices
  • Delete unused accounts to reduce the risk of misuse of that data
  • Perform platform security check-ups
  • Protect your financial data and respond to identity theft
  • Reduce online tracking by using browser extensions
  • Review app permissions and privacy settings 
  • Secure your accounts by using a password manager and multi-factor authentication
  • Secure your IoT devices, such as smart cameras, smart speakers, baby monitors, and smart TVs
  • Track and protect lost or stolen phones
  • Update your apps and devices

The following Security Planner pages are particularly relevant to high-risk communities:

Prevent SIM Swapping Attacks provides information about ways to prevent an attacker from stealing mobile account information. This will stop them from receiving calls, texts, and data tied to your phone, which can be used to gain access to personal and financial accounts.

Use a Security Key includes information on how to use this advanced form of multifactor authentication, which makes it much harder for unauthorized people to gain access to your accounts. 

Stop Stalkerware offers detailed information on how to stop stalkers and abusers from accessing location data and other sensitive information. 

Regain Control of Hacked or Compromised Accounts provides steps to regain access to accounts if an attacker has taken control of them. 

Get Help Responding to Online Harassment connects people to resources that can help them protect against harassment and abuse.

Security Planner was recently redesigned to create a streamlined and simplified layout for easier reference and better navigation. Our experts continuously update the content to provide up-to-date resources to help people stay safe in our evolving digital world.

Security Planner aims to be as accessible and informative to as wide a range of users as possible. However, there are limitations to a digital security plan with step-by-step instructions, no matter how relevant, current, and easy to implement those instructions may be. In some situations, people need access to a person who can look at their specific situation in real time. Other instances require specialized assistance tailored to particular regions or unique circumstances. That is why Security Planner maintains a list of emergency resources including information about the Access Now Digital Security Helpline, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, and other organizations and resources. We also link to additional security guides that provide guidance for more specific digital security issues or concerns. 

In addition, CISA’s new High-Risk Communities webpage features:

  • Project Upskill: A suite of guides to bolster non-technical individuals’ understanding of and ability to mitigate cybersecurity threats
  • Cybersecurity Resources for High-Risk Communities: A collection of cybersecurity resources available to high-risk individuals and organizations, featuring Security Planner.
  • Cyber Volunteer Resource Center: A one-stop-shop for information about how qualifying high-risk organizations can receive cybersecurity assistance from their local cyber volunteer program. 

Now, more than ever before, cyber hygiene is essential to the digital and physical safety of high-risk communities. JCDC’s launch of the High-Risk Communities webpage on underscores the continued need for collaboration between civil society, industry, and government partners to bolster the cybersecurity of communities that play a vital role in upholding democratic values around the world. Security Planner is excited to work with JCDC toward that end. 

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