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Most organizations store at least some sensitive personal information.
This could be names, addresses, phone numbers, or records of how clients use organizations' services. Sadly, stealing and selling this kind of information is a lucrative business, and online threats to privacy and security are everywhere.
The good news is that some basic changes can go a long way toward protecting your organization's data and the people you serve.
Thanks to a generous grant from Microsoft, TechSoup is kicking off an initiative to help nonprofits tackle this important issue: Safer Online for Nonprofits.
TechSoup firmly believes that all organizations should install antivirus software, perform regular backups of their data, and ensure that all their software is up-to-date. However, even the best technology setup is vulnerable if people don't follow basic security and privacy best practices. That's where Safer Online for Nonprofits comes in!
In the coming months, TechSoup will create and share content, quick tips, events, and an Internet Safety Basics Guide to help nonprofits work safer online (read TechSoup's first posts here and here!).
For Safer Internet Day earlier this year, Microsoft asked people around the world to share one simple tip for using the Internet safely. TechSoup received this grant from Microsoft thanks to the tremendous outpouring of tips and advice. It was our community that helped us create Safer Online for Nonprofits, and we're thrilled to be able to give back to our community.
The Safer Online for Nonprofits campaign will focus on basic, practical tips that you can start using right away to stay safe online, on the go, on social media, and in the cloud.
These basic skills are critically important for all individuals and organizations, but TechSoup thinks these skills are even more important for nonprofits, charities, and NGOs. Why? Because nonprofits rely on the goodwill of donors, funders, and constituents.
People trust that their personal information is safe with us. That means we need to be good stewards of that data. You can get started now by:
You're also encouraged to share your tips and best practices. Join the conversation by sharing one thing you can start doing today to protect your organization, using the #Do1Thing hashtag on Twitter. Here's mine:
I pledge to #Do1Thing today to protect my privacy and data: start using password management software to store my passwords.
Got more advice than you can fit in a tweet? Log in to share in the comments.
Image: David Goehring / CC BY
by Ariel Gilbert-Knight, Director, Content, TechSoup
"I pledge to #Do1Thing today to protect my privacy and data: turn on the auto-lock and password on my cell phone!"
Thanks, Eli! It's such a simple and easy thing to do, and so many of us don't do it. I have to admit, it was annoying the first few times (it took a whole extra two seconds to access my phone!), but now I don't even notice. And I feel good knowing that there's an extra layer of security on my phone.
I’m hopping on your bandwagon, Ariel:
Passwords are the modern haystack and most days my sanity’s the needle!
Some of the basic changes need to go into how trusting people are and training them to be skeptical if something sounds too good to be true. There is a great deal of social engineering put into phishing schemes. Walmart and Target do not randomly email people and offer them gift cards.
Great point - first line of defense should always be common sense. Problem is, with online security, folks may not have the tips they need to develop that healthy skepticism - because things are always changing. Which is why simple initiatives like Microsoft's #Do1Thing and TechSoup's Safer Online forum Q/A are so important - to help folks keep up with the buzz!
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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