With more employees and/or volunteers working from home on less secure home networks, there is an increased risk of cyberattacks, especially for non-profits and charities. This can be damaging to your organization’s reputation and alienate your members and donors. Ensure that you review your digital security and perform any necessary updates. For example, does each computer at home or at work have anti-virus software, anti-malware software and regular updates to the system?  You should also ensure that employees and/or volunteers have an appropriate level of security on their home systems, as home networks tend to be less secure.  As well, many employees and volunteers could benefit from educational material and training on basic online safety.  It may be advisable to consult an IT professional or firm to review your digital security and protocols. They will be able to suggest protective measures for home networks.

If you do experience a breach in your security, please note that you may be under an obligation to report the breach under various privacy legislation across Canada.  For example, groups that are under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may need to report to the Privacy Commissioner, as well as any individuals affected by the breach. In the event of a security breach, you should consult a privacy commissioner’s office or a privacy lawyer.  You can find more information on a breach in security in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s guidance What you need to know about mandatory reporting of breaches of security safeguards.