Protect your Charity from Cybercriminals
There are three main types of attacks used against small charities, ransomware (malware), phishing and identity theft.
- Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish your organisation’s data or block access to it unless a ransom is paid.
- Phishing is a form of fraud in which a cybercriminal pretends to be a reputable company, charity or person in an email in order to gain access to sensitive information or to try and get someone to open a malware link.
- Identity theft in this context is where a cybercriminal attempts to impersonate an organisation or worker from that organisation in emails or online in an attempt to get supporters of that organisation to reveal sensitive information to them or open a link.
How to protect your charity
Identify the information that is vital to the running of your charity. This could be supporter info, bank details, volunteer details etc. Make sure this data is backed up regularly so that you can recover a recent version of it in case of a ransomware attack. To find out more about how to back up your data visit this link https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/protecting-bulk-personal-data .
Make sure Antivirus Software is installed on your computers and check that it is turned on.
Update your software regularly. Set your devices to automatically update so you are always running the latest version of the software.
Strong passwords are one of the easiest ways to protect your data and systems from cybercriminals. Passwords should be easy to remember and hard to guess so overly complex passwords are not essential. For example, P4$$W0rd is one of the easiest to guess despite being quite complex. It should be something which is unique to you, different for each account/service and not shared with anyone. For advice on how to create a strong password visit https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/three-random-words-or-thinkrandom-0 .
Be cautious when responding to emails to avoid falling victim of a phishing attack. Some tips to spot phishing emails include…
The National Cyber Security Centre has published a cyber security guide for small charities which is available here https://ncsc-content.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/Cyber%20Security%20Small%20Charity%20Guide%202.pdf