As a charity we manage a wide variety of personal data; from the details of those patients who decide to get in touch with us (due to patient confidentiality unless they get in touch with us, we don't know who they are), our fundraisers and volunteers, to our office, airbase and retail staff.

We respect our supporters' data, so everyone connected with us can feel reassured their data is protected. When it comes to looking after data, it's worth grappling with a small but important distinction between terms.

What's the difference between 'privacy' and 'security'?

'Privacy' and 'security' are similar and related terms, but are not the same thing. Privacy refers to the proper collection and storage of information, whereas security refers to the protection of systems used to store that data and to protect it from being compromised. 

For any business, organisation or charity, it is paramount that information isn't accessed by unauthorised individuals and that accurate data is accessible to the appropriate persons when it's needed. 

A useful metaphor to distinguish the difference between privacy and security is that privacy asks whether you can see through someone's window, whereas security asks whether you can throw a brick through it. 

It is essential that data is both private and secure

As individuals we need to guard our financial, medical and personal information to protect ourselves from identity theft or fraud. When we share that data with a business or organisation, it is their responsibility to be diligent with that data. The potential damages resulting from a data breach are not only financial, but reputational too.

Read our Supporter Promise and our Privacy Policy to see exactly how we look after your data and the measures we take to ensure your details remain private and are securely protected .

*In 2019 #DataPrivacyDay is on Monday 28 January.