Data Security Tips from Engaging Networks

Keeping your supporters’ data safe and secure is vital in today’s world. At Engaging Networks, we take data security very seriously and are always monitoring and adapting to changing legal requirements and potential threats.

That’s why we’ve drafted this short blog, to share some tips on data protection that you can apply for your own data sets. By following some simple procedures you can help ensure your data is only accessible by the right people. Here are a few quick and easy tips:

  1. Manage your user lists. Your users can log on and access supporter data. If you are a ‘Super Admin’ for your account, make sure that you regularly maintain this list, making users inactive that should no longer have access or deleting them altogether if they have left your organisation.
  2. Consider using permission groups. For example, if some users should not see certain types of supporter data when they log on, you can use data views to hide it from them.
  3. Keep your passwords secure. Do not email your passwords or tokens. Email is not a secure method of communication (do not email supporter data either!)
  4. Use Egnyte to share secure data. If you need to share data with our support team, or other members of your team use Egnyte. Never send data (or passwords or tokens) via email! If you’re not familiar with this secure file sharing system please contact us and we can get you set up, or let you know who has access already.
  5. Supporters’ data should not be stored in Google Analytics. That means you shouldn’t place personal data, such as email addresses, into URLs that might be logged by Google Analytics. For example, be careful when using the Form Dependency Redirect, which redirects as soon as the condition is met and pre-populates the landing page from data it places in the URL.
  6. Use a subdomain of your site for your hosted page. If you are using e-activist.com or netdonor.net domains for your Engaging Networks pages, contact us. We can help you get a subdomain for your pages instead (this does not cost you anything), such as action.your-charity.org. This builds trust from your supporters that they are on a legitimate site and also lets you whitelist your domains (see the next item).
  7. Whitelist your domains. This means that your pages can only be displayed using domains you have whitelisted. Some spammers can guess URLs otherwise and submit data or test card numbers.
  8. Fraud management. Although not about data security as such, we have lots of other fraud management tools available – take a look at this page for more information.
  9. Check your audit log. Super Admins can check the audit log to see when users are logging in, and what they do. It can be useful to check that activity, as well as the job monitor and import logs, so you’re aware of how your account is being used.
  10. Be careful when importing and deleting data. Make sure you have robust procedures in place when your users import or alter data in some way. Many of these processes are irreversible, and so mistakes can be hard to correct.

If you’re doing other things to help secure your data on Engaging Networks (or another platform), let us know! The more we can share the better.

Chloe Green is a copywriter and digital campaigner with almost a decade of experience in the charity and political sectors. She’s delivered campaigns, copy and consultancy for a raft of good eggs including Anthony Nolan, the National Union of Students, St Mungo’s, and Hillary for America. She was Social Media Manager at the Labour Party between 2016–2019 and now she’s Head of Creative with the lovely team at Forward Action. She leads on fundraising emails, UX copy, and all creative facilitation. She’s an expert in email list growth, digital strategy, organic and paid-for social media, and digital mobilisation.

Rachel founded the specialist charity web agency, Rechord, in 1999. Between 1999 and 2012 they created hundreds of different web applications for organisations in the UK and internationally.
In 2013 she became the 'Donor Whisperer' and focused on helping small to medium-sized non-profits to reach new donors and activists and from there increase their income. She uses a unique process that combines the benefits of consultancy with capacity building.
Her clients include Traidcraft Exchange, the Overseas Development Institute, Jubilee Debt Coalition, the Leprosy Mission of England and Wales, Tax Justice UK, The Canary, Humanity and Inclusion, the Anti-Tribalism Movement, BRACE, New Family Social, Arseh Sevom - and that's just the last year.
She also feels weird writing about herself in the third person.

Ellen is Campaigns Manager overseeing national and local campaigning at the MS Society. She has worked at the MS Society for 2 and a half years, with roles at Scope and Guide Dogs prior to this.

Hannah is Senior Campaigns Officer at the MS Society, working on their local campaigning programme, Local Action for MS and also on social care and carers. She’s worked at the MS Society for a year and a half, and was previously at the MND Association and National Voices.

Executive Director of C6 Digital, London based agency

Ellen is Campaigns Manager overseeing national and local campaigning at the MS Society. She has worked at the MS Society for 2 and a half years, with roles at Scope and Guide Dogs prior to this.

Ellen is Campaigns Manager overseeing national and local campaigning at the MS Society. She has worked at the MS Society for 2 and a half years, with roles at Scope and Guide Dogs prior to this.

Having gotten his start organizing with anti-war veterans and working as Sala Labs, Sales Engineer, and Partner Manager, Bryan now brings his expertise to non-profit and mission-driven clients as 4Site Studios Director of Digital Strategy. Specializing in challenging and complex projects, Bryan works with each client to craft holistic approaches tailored to goals, budget, and outcomes.

Mary Margaret Callahan is the Chief Mission Officer for Pet Partners, where she is responsible for leading mission delivery including the therapy animal program and grassroots advocacy program. She joined Pet Partners in 2013 and has worked to establish the organization as both an influencer and a resource within the animal-assisted intervention (AAI) and human-animal bond (HAB) community. In 2018 she was named one of PetAge Magazine’s Women of Influence. Mary Margaret lives on a small farm outside Seattle with her husband, daughter and menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, goats and miniature donkeys.

Joe Derry Hall is a freelancer working on creative digital and communications. His interests include tech innovation, upending power and reimagining different futures. Joe has been the winner of a Mozilla Creative Media Award and the joint winner of a BAFTA digital award. He was previously in-house in campaigning and communications roles at Amnesty International, the Climate Coalition, the Ecocide campaign, Save the Children, Scope and others. He is one of the initiators of Right Way Up, an experiment to create a radical, practical new vision for the social change sector.

Anna Chowcat is the Digital Manager at Refuge and oversees the charity’s digital function and output. Since joining Refuge, Anna has been instrumental in introducing a number of digital engagement programmes including digital campaigns, bespoke email supporter journeys and user friendly donate/campaign pages. Before joining Refuge, she has worked in digital engagement and campaign roles at The Labour Party and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

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