9 Cyber Security Tips for Charities | VS Group

The internet offers an incredible opportunity for charities to raise awareness, engage with supporters and maximise their impact. However, an online presence goes hand in hand with unique security risks. In this article, we get serious about cyber security for charities, explore the increasingly sophisticated threats faced by organisations and offer expert tips on how to overcome them.

Cyber security: understanding the risks

To fathom just how critical cyber security for charities is it’s important to understand what’s at stake. Security breaches can compromise sensitive data like donor credit card details and personal information, as well as disrupt operations and tarnish the overall reputation of a charity. As advocates for altruism, it’s imperative for charities to prioritise cyber security. Here’s how:

1.    Stay informed and educated

Use reliable sources like the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Charity Commission for England and Wales to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to threats. Additionally, offer regular training to staff and volunteers to educate them about common cyber security threats and best practices.

2.    Implement strong passwords

Many security breaches are caused by poor passwords. Using complex passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the easiest ways to prevent unauthorised access. Ask staff to frequently update and change passwords, especially for high-level accounts with access to sensitive data.

3.    Secure your systems and networks

Install and regularly update antivirus software, security patches, firewalls and ad blockers to protect against malware and other cyber security for charities threats. If possible, upgrade to a leased line internet network to isolate confidential data. A fortified VPS server is also a worthwhile investment for security-conscious charities.

4.    Introduce access controls

Use passwords to restrict access to sensitive data and systems. Base access on job roles and responsibilities to minimise the risk of insider threats.

5.    Embrace encryption

Use encryption to boost security and protect classified information including donor data, employee information and financial records.

6.    Backup your data

Regularly backup all critical data and systems to secure offsite locations or cloud-based platforms. This will help with recovery in the event of a cyber-attack or data breach.

7.    Adhere to GDPR regulations

Take steps to comply with the strict “data protection principles” cited in the Data Protection Act 2018.

8.    Conduct regular security audits

Take a proactive approach to cyber security for charities and conduct regular audits to identify vulnerabilities and areas for improvement within your IT infrastructure.

9.    Foster a culture of security

Encourage a culture of cyber security awareness by emphasising the role staff, trustees and volunteers play in safeguarding your charity’s data, assets and reputation.

With genuine risks at play, cyber security for charities demands attention. This is where managed IT services from VS Group come into play. We act as guardians for your charity’s IT infrastructure and provide ironclad protection to your critical data. Get in touch today to find out more about how our vigilant team can help safeguard your charity’s assets, uphold its reputation, and most importantly, maximise your impact.


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