Door-to-door visits, phones calls, radio and TV broadcasts, street actions and informational literature are typical of traditional human rights campaigns.

They’ve been tried and tested as viable campaign techniques for political campaigns, causes and products.

But…

The advent of the internet changed how campaigns are conducted.

With the large-scale successful election of Barack Obama as the U.S. President in 2008, online campaigns have increasingly gained popularity.

Online campaigns are popular for the many benefits they offer human rights advocates.

For instance, campaigns reach a wider audience with access to the internet, including more demographics like young people.

Human rights activists can tailor their messages to reach more and targeted audiences through “smart” techniques and search engine optimization. They ensure only interested persons view campaign messages.

The activists can reach audiences in many ways, including:

  • Email newsletters
  • Campaign websites
  • Blogs
  • Social networking platforms such as Facebook

Other benefits of online human rights campaigns include:

  • Improved local presence
  • Better visibility
  • Increased authority
  • In-person visitors
  • Instant update of information
  • Increased traffic to campaign website
  • Creation of long-lasting relationships
  • Campaign analysis
  • Cost-effectiveness

Online Human Rights Campaign Data

Online campaigns give human rights advocates digital presence to reach a wider audience with their targeted message. However, there’s need to protect the campaigns from cyber threats and attacks because critical data is involved.

Various tools and resources make it possible to manage online campaigns and keep the information or data involved safe.

As you use online platforms to connect with and reach your audience, you can measure your campaign success and maintain it. With the right measures, you can also ensure that your human rights campaigns are safe.

Data security is an important aspect of every online campaign.

Ranging from your audiences’ private information to financial records, there’s need to protect your campaign data. A single security breach can damage the human rights agency and all parties involved in the campaign.

About 285 million data records, according to a recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, were breached in 2008.

And…

74% of the data breaches occurred from outside attacks.

Here’re a few recommendations from the National Cyber Security Alliance’s Chief ADP Security Officer and board member, Roland Cloutier, to help safeguard your online human rights campaigns:

7 Tips to Safeguarding Your Online Human Rights Campaign

1) Create strong passwords

The easiest way to strengthen your campaign security online is deploying strong passwords.

Create passwords using a combination of capital and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers to create a long hard-to-crack password. Make sure it’s 8 to 12 characters long.

Avoid including common words spelled backwards, personal data such as date of birth and number or character sequences, including the order used on keyboards, in your password combination.

Check the strength of your password using the convenient Microsoft password checker.

Change your password “every 90 days” and more often for highly-sensitive campaign data.

Ascertain that everyone involved in the online human rights campaign has their own password and username for logging into your campaign system, from your CMS or devices (phones, laptops, desktops, etc.).

Never share passwords among users or write it down.

2) Deploy antivirus protection

Viruses, malware and ransomware are common threats from the internet.

Install anti-malware and antivirus software to protect your campaign system and network from such threats.

The online security weapons are your last defense line against unwanted malicious network attacks.

3) Implement a strong firewall

Firewalls ensure that networks are properly protected.

A firewall controls internet traffic flowing into and out of your campaign platform or system to protect your network.

4) Regularly update your system and programs

A fully protected system is well updated and patched against bugs and software loopholes.

Keeping your campaign programs and systems, including antivirus programs is key to safeguarding your campaign data from security breaches.

Although programs aren’t 100% fool-proof, regular updates ensure that the most recent updates are installed to keep your user data safe.

Updates ensure that your system and programs have existing bugs and other issues fixed.

5) Identity theft protection

Identity theft is another security issue that may arise when conducting online human rights campaigns. It’s important to put measures in place to safeguard the identity of your campaign team.

Various solutions exist to help with identity protection.

Consider LifeLock identity theft protection for members of your team who have any opinion to share on your campaign platform.

The identity protection solution is reliable and comes with a family plan. What’s more, it has a compensation guarantee in case of a breach ranging from $25,000 to $1 million.

6) Secure your mobile devices

Mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops are at a higher risk of either being stolen getting lost than desktops.

Additionally, mobile devices are likely to be used in unsecured wireless networks to access your system, putting your campaign data at risk of a breach.

Encrypt your mobile devices to secure them from unauthorized access. The technology converts your data to a form that’s unreadable to protect your sensitive campaign data stored on the devices.

Unauthorized persons can’t access encrypted devices without a password.

Never leave your laptop and other campaign devices in the car. Lock it in the trunk if you can’t carry it with you.

Make sure your mobile phones and tablets have:

  • A password-protected lock
  • Activated remote wiping

With remote wiping, you can easily access your device remotely to delete all your data, making this technique “extremely effective.”

7) Create backups

Regular campaign data backups for quick recovery and campaign continuity post a disaster.

Other measures to consider include:

  • Diligently monitor your campaign data to know if there’s a breach to quickly counteract it.
  • Be cautious with IM, emails and Web surfing; avoid clicking on unknown links and attachments.
  • Create awareness and educate your campaign team about safe internet habits for proactive defense of your system.