Cyber criminals are sneaky. They try to trick you. More than anything they want to get inside your devices.

Malicious applications are often disguised as legitimate software, like games, tools or even antivirus programs. You’re a journalist, and you know not everything is as it appears. So use your reporter’s gut when you’re online.

Don’t install software that doesn’t come from a vendor site or have an approved certificate. Often malware is bundled together with pirated software. It may seem like you’re getting a discount or beating the system by getting your hands on a valuable program for “free.” However, when you install this “good deal” you’ll probably be installing malware too. And that’s when the miscreant has you exactly where he wants you, a digital pawn of his devious schemes.

Just like you are very careful who you allow into your newsroom, the same rule applies to cyberspace.

Let’s face it—despite your best attempts, your strong passwords, your antivirus, careful downloads, locking your devices with a four-digit pin—malicious code creeps in. It happens to the most vigilant of us. But are you prepared for the day you become infected with the digital parasites of the Internet; the worms, viruses and Trojans that will wreak havoc on your precious drafts, scripts, notes, video, photos, basically every file that our ability to report a story depends on?

You must save your reporting data in verified storage beyond your hard drive. And I’m not talking about a USB stick either. Does your newsroom have a network storage system you can back up your files on? Do you need to buy an external hard drive for reinforcement? How about a cloud storage service? That way when malware sneaks in you're the cyber savvy reporter with saved backups already in place. Because when you are moments to deadline, that’s not the time you want to learn that you didn’t back up your files.

So save it!
Duplicate it!
Shake that backup disc!
Data got back.