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Data Protection

Lest anyone think that data protection is unimportant or does not apply to voluntary organisations: a national charity was in February 2010 found by the Information Commissioner to be in breach of the Data Protection Act, after several laptops were stolen during a burglary. The laptops were not locked away, and one contained unencrypted details of 1000 staff, including addresses and national insurance numbers.
The Society had to give an undertaking that “portable and mobile devices including laptops and other portable media used to store and transmit personal data, the loss of which could cause damage or distress to individuals, are encrypted, physical security measures are adequate to prevent unauthorised access to personal data; staff are aware of the data controller’s policy for the storage and use of personal data and are appropriately trained how to follow that policy; and the data controller shall implement such other security measures as it deems appropriate to ensure that personal data is protected”. Further data protection breaches could lead to criminal prosecution. Clearly ICT security is essential — not just in relation to data protection, but to protect all of your organisation’s information. The 34-page Computanews guide to ICT security, published in October 2009, is essential reading for all organisations.Download from tinyurl.com/ykxxlm3.

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