If you’re in the midst of reporting misconduct or illegal activity, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times and know exactly how to stay safe both before and after you contact the legal team. This guide provides some tips on how to stay safe during every step of the whistleblowing process. The most important part of this process is recognizing when and how to seek legal assistance from a whistleblower lawyer Washington, DC clients recommend with experience in handling sensitive cases like yours.
How to Protect Yourself Online and Offline
As a whistleblower, you need to take extra care to protect yourself online and offline. Here are some tips on how to keep safe while reporting fraud:
- Use an anonymous browser
- Avoid communicating with reporters over email, Twitter direct messages, or SMS texts
- Turn off all social media notifications from reporters, government agencies, and law enforcement
- Don’t share any personal information publicly that could be used against you (such as your address)
- Limit what is shared on social media and apps like Facebook Messenger to only the essentials (name, gender, occupation)
Assume All Systems Are Compromised
In the world of whistleblowing, it’s assumed that all systems are compromised. This means that any and all communication channels could be monitored by those you’re trying to expose. For this reason, it’s important to take extra care in how you communicate with your lawyer. You may want to avoid using email, phone calls, text messages, or social media altogether when discussing sensitive matters. It might also make sense to only use one channel at a time – if you’re going to call your lawyer on the phone, don’t send them an email at the same time! Finally, never discuss anything sensitive in public – even just talking about it could put someone else at risk!
Use a Safe House When Needed
A safe house is a secure location where you can stay while you work with a lawyer to blow the whistle on corporate wrongdoing. It’s important to have a safe place to stay because you may be in danger if your identity is revealed. A safe house can provide you with the security and peace of mind you need to focus on your case. These are some signs that it’s time to use a safe house:
- Your safety has been threatened by someone who knows about your whistleblower activity
- You’ve received threats from an unknown source
- You fear that something might happen to you or someone close to you
- You want to make sure that your children are protected from any danger
Keep Your Story as Brief as Possible
When you contact a lawyer, the first thing they will do is ask you for a brief summary of your story. The more information you give them, the more likely it is that your identity will be revealed. So, keep your story short and to the point. Let them know what happened, who was involved, and how long ago it happened. They can then advise you on how best to proceed with your situation. If you’re not sure if this applies to you or not, just say I don’t know yet but I want advice from an attorney and they can help you figure out whether or not this applies to your situation.
Remember – One Leak Isn’t Enough
In order to be a successful whistleblower, you need to have multiple sources of information. In case something happens and you lose data, you need to ensure you can back that up for your case.
If you are a whistleblower, contact an attorney at Eric Siegel Law for help today!