Your 5 Point Guide to Staying Cyber Safe for Charities
For modern charities, the explosion in mobile and internet technology continues to bring great advantages. You can reach and inspire your stakeholders in new and intuitive ways, for example. Likewise, your staff can be more flexible and adaptive in how and where they work.
At the same time, these developments have serious downsides. Most notably, the clear and growing threat of cyber attacks. As many charities have found sadly to their cost, the financial and operational consequences of such attacks can be devastating.
To help keep your charity cyber safe, we’ve prepared the short five point guide.
1) Power up your passwords
Every struggle to remember your password? If so, you’re not alone. That’s why many people use the same password for everything. Although that may seem convenient at the time, it can leave you wide open to cyber attack.
To stay safe, trying powering up your passwords with strange letter, number, and character combinations. You can also consider trialling widely-available password generators.
2) Lock them out with Anti-Theft Protection
If a thief steals your password, is all lost? Not necessarily. You can still keep them out with Anti-Theft Protection software. Thanks to these nifty packages, you can now message your stolen device and tell it to:
- – shut down immediately
- – cloak data like passwords, encryption keys, and other vital files
This technology is getting smarter all the time. That’s good news for you – and bad news for thieves. With the latest software, even attempting to access someone’s else’s device sets off a warning.
3) Stop yourself catching a nasty virus
Making sure you have a decent anti-virus and anti-malware software is critical for your charity. Once they’re into your system, viruses and malware start replicating straight away. They will cause havoc by:
- – accessing your sensitive information
- – corrupting your data
- – taking over your hardware space
- – sending spam to your contacts
Keeping your software and hardware safe from attack isn’t always cheap. Sometimes it can be tricky to set up as well. However, it’s a process that’s definitely worth doing properly. You’ll certainly thank yourself in the long run.
4) Make encryption your secret weapon
If you mention encryption to people, chances are they’ll start thinking about military and governmental computer systems. However, encryption could be a valuable weapon in your charity’s own fight against cyber threats.
You can use encryption to protect all kinds of your data. With the proper package, you get an easy and straightforward way to encode your passwords, files and personal information. Only the people with the right encryption key will be able to view your data in its proper form. To everyone else, it will just appear as an unreadable mess of code.
5) Lock down your data protection
No doubt you’re aware of the Data Protection Act 1998. This legislation requires all organisations – including charities – who process personal data to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office. They must also meet a series of legal obligations around the storage and protection of such data.
It’s vital that you check that your charity is meeting these obligations fully. If that’s not the case, this can have serious repercussions for your standing as a charity. It could also lead to a fine of up to £500, 000.
Getting in touch
If you have any questions on this issue, please contact Hettle Andrews today.