As we become accustomed to the new normal of remote working, we tend to spend more time now than ever on the internet – for work and for personal purposes. This means your nonprofit employees will be using the web often, and unfortunately, we all know how weak our security protocols can be as individuals and as organizations.

internet security for nonprofits

Basically, while your organization as a whole may take some precautions to ensure your systems are safe from malicious actors, your employees may serve as the loopholes through which these bad actors get to your organization.

The best solution is to understand these security breaches and how to protect your nonprofit’s employees and volunteers from becoming victims. And in order to do that, we all need to understand the various ways that hackers or bad actors can do.

The different forms of attacks


Phishing is a cyber-attack that comes in the form of a disguise by a malicious party posing as a legitimate entity and luring organizations or individuals into giving away sensitive information. These actors send messages that look like they’re from friends, colleagues, or your employer organization. Through these, bad actors get access to sensitive information, including your login details to important websites, as well as credit card details.


Malware or Malicious software, comes in various forms, including spyware, viruses, and ransomware. It is made up of computer code that is usually built to gain access to a network or attack data systems. To get to your system, bad actors use various means, including pop-up ads, URLs that are suspicious, and email attachments.

DDoS Attack

DDoS or Denial-of-Service attack comes to mainly shut down networks and machines and make a system inaccessible to users. They can flood the target with information or data that causes attacks or send so much traffic to a system that’s not built to handle that level of traffic. The main purpose is to allow them to take control of these machines, websites, or communication systems.

Precautions to protect your nonprofit and employees from these security risks

Digital security is a hard nut to crack and even the biggest and careful organizations sometimes become victims of huge security breaches. However, you can take certain precautions that will prevent malicious actors from getting to your digital resource or reduce the impact on your organization. Here’s how:

Updating your systems

A rule of thumb to staying safe online is to make sure your software and networks are always updated with the latest technologies. Malicious actors use bugs and other vulnerabilities to get to computer systems – so as a nonprofit, you need to ensure that your systems are always updated with the latest patches and bug fixes.

These updates shouldn’t be limited to organizational system updates, but should also include employee device updates – to make sure they’re using the latest computer software. From web browsers to your nonprofit’s accounting software, undertaking regular updates will help keep your organization and workers safe.

Create backups of your data

One of the deadliest experiences is to lose your entire organization’s data to hackers without a way of recovering it. That’s why it’s highly important to backup, not just your files, but also your software programs and entire computer systems.

A system backup helps you save your computer system, including your operating system, configurations, and executable programs. This allows you to restore your system and configurations when there’s a breach that destroys your systems. You should also undertake regular file backups to ensure that you can get your files back even if a hacker attacks and do away with everything.

Protect your systems and that of your employees

Nonprofits should take the necessary steps to protect their machines. When connecting to the internet, nonprofits should get their employees VPNs for certain activities that may lead to breaches. Organizations should also secure their WiFi networks to ensure that hackers don’t exploit that to get to their computer systems.