Free Ways Nonprofit Stakeholders can Protect their Privacy

 

Privacy is like doing laundry, it’s something you are always at some point in the process of doing. By taking the time to keep your information private, you protect yourself and everyone you’re connected to from financially and emotionally devastating fraud, loss of data, or ransomware. 

 

Internet Browser

Enjoy the internet privately with the Mozilla Foundation’s free Firefox Browser. It has all the speed of Chrome or Internet Explore without the watchful eyes. 

 

Search Engine

Use the free private search engine Duck Duck Go to search safely. We recommend saving it as your default search engine in your browser. If you like to have search on your homepage, go ahead and set it to your homepage too.

 

Freeze Credit

Unlike locking your credit, a credit “freeze” is free. It prevents anyone from accessing your credit report to process applications for new lines of credit. Freezing and unfreezing your credit is simple and in the meantime your private information is hidden on your credit reports. To be effective, you need to freeze your credit with all three bureaus. 

 

Lock It Up

If you have a fire and water proof portable safe, use it for key documents. If you don’t have one, your home owners or renters insurance may cover the cost of buying one by reducing your rates. 

 

Cover Your Camera

Tech insiders as sophisticated as Mark Zuckerberg are using one simple and easy technique to ensure that their cameras aren’t used to watch them: a Post-It. Easy to put on and off, a Post-It is more than a way to remember milk and bread at the grocery store. 

 

Turn off Face ID 

  • If your device has the option of unlocking it or logging into passwords with Face ID, turn it off. These systems can easily be defeated with photos of you or similarly looking people found online. 

 

Messages

  • You might delete the text but it is evergreen. Message securely and privately using Signal. It is free. 

  • Signal: https://signal.org/en/ 

Clean Up

  • Delete applications and programs you don’t need or use anymore. In addition to taking up physical and mental space, if they are compromised your data can be too. 

 

Microphones

In many countries such as Germany, smart devices that can listen to you are illegal. They violate privacy laws because they have been used by everyone from bored employees to bad actors to spy on private conversations. Turn off or get rid of anything you don’t want listening to you. 

 

Do the Two Step

Add two step authentication to your log ins. This is particularly valuable for places that hold personal information, financial data, and your email accounts. 

 

Lock It Up

Password protect all of your devices and programs. As trustworthy as the people you live and work with might be,anyone can get their hands on your things. 

 

Put a Pin in It

Whenever you are given the option of adding a security pin, do so. 

 

Firewall and Anti-virus Programs

If you don’t have firewall and virus security on your devices, the manufacturer and your internet provider are likely to have free options you can use. 

Private Profiles

Make whatever social media profiles you can private to protect your information and the information of all of those you are connected with. 

Identifications Numbers

Don’t share your birth year, social security number, license number, healthcare id, and other identity numbers. 

 

Unique Passwords

Set unique passwords for each website you visit. While it might feel like a pain in the neck, there are simple tricks such as substituting numbers for letters, using song lyrics, or former phone numbers of loved ones that can make it easy. It is worth investing the time to think of a good password. 

 

Junk Mail

Don’t open messages from people you don’t know and don’t open attachments from people you can’t verify by phone. 

 

Stay Updated 

Whenever new updates for your computer hardware on your devices, your search browser, or your applications are released, install them immediately. Updates frequently contain security patches to fight the latest attacks. 

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