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Y0ur P@ssw0rd S*cks: Tools to take your security to the next level

Maybe you’ll be interested in using them too.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Oct 10, 2023   Updated on Oct 11, 2023, 6:58 am CDT

Y0ur P@ssw0rd S*cks is a bi-weekly column that answers the most pressing internet security questions web_crawlr readers have to make sure they can navigate the ‘net safely. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

Welcome once again to Y0ur P@ssw0rd S*cks, the newsletter column that answers your digital security questions. Today, I’m here with insights into some of the security tools I and other journalists use. Maybe you’ll be interested in using them too.

We’ve already discussed everything from web browsers to password managers, but there are some exciting tools that can take your security to the next level.


One thing you are likely to come across as a journalist, or any internet user, is important email attachments and other files. And as we all know, some files can be malicious. So how can you protect yourself?

That is where Dangerzone comes in. Available for Mac, Windows, or Linux computers, Dangerzone lets you sanitize numerous types of files to remove any potentially dangerous elements.

Whether PDFs, images, or documents from Microsoft Office, Dangerzone will convert your files into a new version that is stripped of any malware. It’s super easy to use. So next time you are unsure about opening that email attachment, just fire up Dangerzone.


Now, what if you want to chat anonymously with someone from your computer, or want to send or receive sensitive files without the use of a phone?

As a journalist, sometimes I want people to be able to send me files anonymously without having to expose their phone numbers. OnionShare is just the program. In the simplest terms, OnionShare is an open-source tool that lets you securely and anonymously share files, chat, and even host a website, all by utilizing the Tor network.

You’ve likely heard about Tor before. The Tor browser lets you access sites on the dark web. OnionShare routes its connection through the Tor network to give you strong anonymity and security. I’ve created an OnionShare dropbox before and posted the URL to my Twitter, allowing sources to send me important files or messages while remaining anonymous.

Given that the tool is aimed primarily at journalists, it may seem unnecessary for the average user. But just like Dangerzone, it’s super easy to use and can be useful when you need to send someone important files like tax data, for example.


The last tool I’ll point to is Signal. You’ve undoubtedly heard of it before. Signal is the gold standard for end-to-end encryption and is most often used on cell phones. But Signal has a Desktop version too, which can be helpful when working on stories. I prefer having multiple accounts, including a dedicated phone number for family and friends and one I publicly post online for sources to contact me.

Hopefully, at least some of these tools will be useful to you. As always, if you have any questions related to internet security, let us know, and they may get answered in this column.

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*First Published: Oct 10, 2023, 6:00 am CDT