Safety and Security Guidelines


Although we are constantly working to find ways to ensure that the Hub poses the least potential risk for our users, keep in mind that ultimately it is your responsibility to keep yourself safe. By accessing the Hub or viewing any Content therein, you acknowledge that WITNESS bears no responsibility whatsoever, as to any threats to your safety which result from access to or use of the Hub. If you have any further recommendations or suggestions, please contact us at hub[at]witness.org.

In addition to the standard issues of copyright and obscenity addressed by most sites to which users upload content, you need to be aware of the potential safety and security issues related to the public distribution of human rights-related content taking place on the Hub. These safety and security concerns may affect you whether you are uploading your own content or browsing content uploaded by others and also apply to those individuals depicted in the content.

If you feel you are at risk, here are some actions you may take to protect your identity online:

  1. Do not give anyone access to, or information regarding, your Hub account name, password or to the email account that you used to register with the Hub. For example, you may choose to create a separate email account specifically for your use of the Hub.
  2. Do not give out any information online that could be traced back to you as an individual, such as your real name, your date of birth, your physical address, phone number, place of work or other personally identifiable information.
  3. Look in the address bar of this or other websites or email services. In the website’s address, type in the letter “s” after “http”. This may make your connection to the website more secure, but may not work for all websites or email services.
  4. You may find it useful to use a proxy server such as TOR , which can be installed on your computer or in your browser.
  5. When using a public computer (i.e. in an Internet café or a workplace) you should be aware that the computer may retain personal information such as your email password, personal details you typed into a registration form, or even financial data such as your credit card number. In addition, at many locations, internet use is routinely monitored, and some internet cafes and libraries are required to film their premises with surveillance cameras. If you are a registered Hub member, make sure that you log-out when you have completed your session. You should also reset the browser to clear the browsing history, and any identifying “cookies” (small files placed on your computer) from particular websites. (In Firefox, go to the Tools, menu, and select “Clear Private Data”. In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options, select the Content tab, and then click Autocomplete.)
  6. You may also choose to use a secure email provider. Please note, however that in some locations registering for such a service may prove a security risk in itself. Services such as HushMail provide secure anonymous webmail. You may use your HushMail address to register for third-party video services such as YouTube or Google Video.

Excellent overviews of online security and privacy can be found both in English and other languages at:

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