It shouldn’t be hard to stay secure online—which is why the Citizen Lab launched Security Planner, a free website for personalized digital security recommendations you can trust. When Security Planner was released in December 2017, we promised regular updates, new features, and translations into other languages. To ensure we can continue to deliver on that promise for years to come, the Citizen Lab is excited to announce that Security Planner is joining Consumer Reports (CR) Digital Lab.
Starting today, CR Security Planner has a fresh new look and new recommendations that cover everything from smart speakers to connected cameras. In the coming months, you can expect new features that will make it easier to keep track of your personalized recommendations, reminders and alerts about how to secure the products and services you use, and access to additional perks if you become a Consumer Reports member. Best of all, CR Security Planner will always remain free—and no company will ever influence the products or services recommended by CR.
“We’re thrilled for Consumer Reports to become the steward of the Security Planner project, carrying the torch forward on Citizen Lab’s excellent work these past years,” said Ben Moskowitz, Director of the Consumer Reports Digital Lab.
Consumer Reports was an early funder and supporter of Security Planner, and we are thrilled their Digital Lab will continue to update, maintain, review, and improve Security Planner going forward. For every recommendation that CR Security Planner makes, you can expect the same level of rigour and care that Consumer Reports brings to its product tests and reviews, with vetting by outside experts—including Citizen Lab researchers.
“With Security Planner, our aim from the beginning was to create an accessible, expertly reviewed, and regularly updated guide to help users take immediate steps to improve their digital hygiene,” said Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab. “With Security Planner in the hands of Consumer Reports, we can rest assured that it reaches the widest possible audience and is shepherded by an independent organization with expertise and integrity.”
When it comes to online safety, knowing where to start can feel daunting or overwhelming. There are more devices, accounts, and services to secure than ever, and no shortage of guides with conflicting advice. We designed CR Security Planner to provide authoritative, trustworthy security recommendations that anyone can follow—whether you are already taking steps to protect your devices and accounts, or don’t know where to start. When you visit the CR Security Planner website for the first time, you’ll answer a few questions about the devices you have and how you use them, and get a personalized Action Plan in return. Security Planner is only as good as the quality of its recommendations, which is why those recommendations are written in plain, jargon-free language that everyone can understand, and regularly updated and reviewed. And because securing your life online shouldn’t be hard, CR Security Planner only emphasizes simple yet highly effective steps that you can do now, like enabling multi-factor authentication on accounts, updating software, or learning to spot phishing sites.
Prior to joining Consumer Reports, Security Planner was incubated within Jigsaw, Google’s technology incubator, and has been run by the Citizen Lab since December 2015.