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Use this page for learning about how to back up your charity's data.
Think about how much you rely on your charity’s critical data. From your beneficiaries' details to volunteer data to governing documents. Now imagine how you'd do your work without them.
All charities should take regular backups of their important data. Backups ensure your charity will function following the impact of flood, fire, physical damage or theft and cyber-crime. You need to make sure that those backups are recent and can be easily restored. Your charity will be more resilient to cyber crime if you have backups of your data that you can recover.
Here’s how to do it.
Your first step is to identify your essential data. That is, the information that your charity couldn't function without. Essential data for you could be:
Think about where you store this essential data. It may be a few common folders on your computer, phone, tablet or organisation’s network. Or it may be much more widespread.
Once you've identified what's essential and where it's kept, make a copy of this data. A copy of your essential data is often called a backup.
There are many ways you can keep a backup of your essential data.
Your data backups should be restricted so they:
Malicious software can often move to connected storage automatically. If your backup was permanently connected it could also be infected. This would leave you with no backup to recover data from.
If you keep physical backups you should store them in a different location to any devices with the same data on them. This will help keep your data secure. A fire or theft won't result in you losing both copies.
Cloud storage solutions are a cost-effective and efficient way of achieving this. This would store your backups online.
You've likely already used cloud storage during your everyday work and personal life. You may not even have known that’s what you were doing. For example, unless you're running your own email server, your emails are stored 'in the cloud'.
Cloud storage is where a service provider stores your data on their infrastructure.
Reasons to store your backup data in the cloud.
We know that backing up is not a very interesting thing to do. There'll always be more important tasks you feel should take priority. But, if you don’t have a solution that makes backups automatically, you'll need to do this.
If you're manually backing up your data, you may want to consider investing in a solution that does it automatically. Using automated backups not only saves time, it also ensures that you have the latest version of your files.
Many off-the-shelf backup solutions are easy to set up. They're affordable considering the business-critical protection they offer. When choosing a solution think about:
Looking for a cloud service provider? Not all service providers are the same. But cloud technology isn’t new anymore and most providers have good security practices built-in so you have reliable options.
Read the NCSC's Cloud Security Guidance. It'll help you decide what to look for when evaluating services, and what they include.
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