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Free data protection advice for vol. groups

How safe is your data?

Get free advice from the experts.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is offering free advisory visits to voluntary groups.

Goups often work with sensitive information, such as people's individual medical details, so they are potentially more likely get involved in a breach of the law. That  could lead to a big penalty, so help yourself by using the tips below and sign up for a free advisory visit,

Advisory visit

The one-day advisory visit from the ICO provides you with a data protection 'check-up' and practical advice on looking after people's information. If you want to be considered for a visit, register by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Top 5 tips

  1. Tell people what you are doing with their data. People should know what you are doing with their information and who it will be shared with. This is the law (as well as established best practice) so it is important you are open and honest with people.
  2. Make sure staff and volunteers are adequately trained. New people need training to explain how they should store and handle personal information, and refresher training should be provided for existing staff.
  3. Use "strong" passwords. There is no point in using a password if it's easy to guess. All passwords should include both have upper and lower case letters, a number and - ideally a symbol.
  4. Make sure all portable devices – such as memory sticks and laptops – that are used to store personal information are encrypted.
  5. Only keep people’s personal information for as long as necessary. Your group should have agreed retention periods should have a process for securely deleting personal information once it is no longer needed.

For more information see the ICO website