Make your computers secure, hub urges the sector

The ICT Hub is launching a campaign to warn charities about the dangers of online fraud and encourage them to protect their computer systems.

Throughout September, which is Get Safe Online Month, the hub will be encouraging charities to be aware of potential dangers and to update their security software.

According to IT security specialist Sophos, hackers infect nearly 30,000 web pages a day, and one in every 337 emails sent has a fraudulent purpose.

The hub also cautions charities against online fraudsters who masquerade as charity workers. If donors are victims of online scams, it says, charities can lose money and their reputations can suffer.

"Relying on computers is integral to the way most of us work," said Nicola Thompson, head of the ICT Hub, which is based at the NCVO. "But people have fallen victim to online attack and had their IT systems damaged because they were not secure."

Robin Fisk, managing director of software company Fisk Brett, said: "In my experience, the IT infrastructures at many charities are accidents waiting to happen in terms of security. Supporters trust charities with their personal details and their money, so charities should seek to follow best practice."

Fisk said charities could also assess their vulnerabilities by inviting ethical hackers to find any weaknesses in their systems and warning their donors to look out for suspicious emails.

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