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Cyber Security for Charities: Tips & Advice

We have a new podcast episode out on all the usual audio channels. But, we thought that we’d write up everything discussed in case you prefer reading instead! This week, we have an episode all about cyber security for charities with Ben, our Managing Director here at Alcimi.

 If you didn’t know already, cyber security is so important, and even more so for charities. We have some cyber security jargon busters to help you understand the basic terms. So, you can read that first if you want more knowledge on cyber security terminology used here.

 It’s fundamental that we make anything in the digital sphere cyber secure, but because charities hold so much data, they can be targeted even more. To ensure that you have the knowledge to put into practice, we’ve got some things you should look out for to ensure that you have ultimate cyber security in charities.

Cyber Security for charities


It may seem obvious, but passwords are really important, and probably more than you think. Hackers actually spend time trying different combinations of passwords until they get it right and log into different accounts. They could even find personal profiles, and gather personal data, to try and guess what password might be used. That’s why it’s important to choose a strong password. And, that means not choosing anything that is obvious or people know from social media. For example, don’t use the name of anyone in your family, your pet, or use things like your birthday, because they can be easily guessed. 

You need to ensure that you use 12 characters, a mixture of numbers and letters, some special symbols and also a mixture of upper and lower case letters. Taking time to come up with a strong password is key to keeping systems cyber secure.

Also, set up two factor authentication. This means that there is an extra layer of security in order to verify your identity. Essentially, there are two steps rather than one, and therefore, extra secure. It’s really worthwhile having extra steps to make it difficult for hackers and cyber criminals.

Backup your data 

Yes, backing up data may be boring, but there’s never too many back ups you can have. Keep doing it as much as you can to be extra secure. Being a charity, think of how much you rely on the data that is stored within your organisation. By making more backups of your data, it means that you are keeping your data secure and protected from malware and ransomware attacks. Trust us, it will be worth it in the long run.

Something that would help with that is the cloud; it actually takes automatic back ups to save you from doing it. And, there’s even more benefits too. There’s more about the cloud below…  

Consider the cloud 

The cloud is a great way to securely store your data and documents. If they are on the cloud, then they are secure, and documents can even be encrypted automatically to ensure that no documents can be taken out of the cloud. It backups automatically meaning that there’s no stress about keeping on top of your back ups or tracking when you last did one. The best thing about the cloud in regards to cyber security, is that it is storage separate to your location. That means that if you get any of your devices hacked, then your data and documents are safe in another location, so are protected from data theft.

Install anti-virus software 

Viruses can be extremely harmful to your device, data and documents, so you need to make sure that you have virus protection. A virus is a form of malware – which is malicious software – and it can do a lot of damage. These are things that you need to look out for, being vigilant to make sure that you have the protection in place so that malware will be less likely to affect your organisation. Usually, it is included within operating systems so all you need to do is install it. After you have it on your devices, make sure that you update it frequently and take action when you see notifications, because this will protect all systems. 

Educate staff 

And, finally, make everyone aware of cyber attacks. Educate and train Trustees, Volunteers and Staff so that they know how to identify a phishing attack, ransomware and malware. That way, they can take action correctly if the situation unfortunately arises.

If anyone within the charity doesn’t know what to look out for, then they could easily be the victim of a phishing attack which is when data can be stolen in a cyber attack. A lot of phishing attacks can be convincing, so that people think that they are legitimate. Staff also need to know that if there is an attempted phishing attack, then the employee needs to report it. 

By providing training on malware and ransomware too, people involved in the charity are more likely to keep on top of cyber security like creating strong passwords and updating anti-virus software. This is why in this case, it is integral that everyone within the charity has the knowledge and the skills to have a strong cyber security strategy. 

Assessing cyber security for charities 

So, to conclude, check that you have the above strategies to ensure maximum security for protection against cyber attacks. Unfortunately, cyber attacks are on the rise and that’s why it’s so important, now more than ever, to review how cyber secure your systems are. Here at Alcimi, we review strategies to ensure the best cyber security is being used. We offer cyber security consultancy to see how effective your cyber security really is, and how it can be improved. We can be your helping hand to being cyber secure. 

Listen to our podcast episode with more information from our Managing Director about cyber security for charities here

If you want some advice on your cyber security strategy, get in touch today. We can help to review how cyber secure your charity is currently and how it could be improved.

Cyber Security for Charities
Author: Amy Williams
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