Running a political campaign on any scale is a monumental task. A campaign puts you in direct competition with a political opponent, which means there is a higher threat for security breaches. As much as you want everything to stay peaceful and respectful, everyone knows politics can get dirty really quickly. It’s up to you and your campaign staff to make sure your information and strategies are safe and protected.
In the digital age, most security concerns happen online. While you still need bodyguards and protection at public events, you’ll need a strategy for cyber attacks as well. This involves preparing your team for unexpected threats and getting promises that no one will spill any secrets. It also helps to get your own software so that you can keep your web development and communications completely private. By protecting your information and strategies, you are helping your campaign stay above board and eventually appeal to a wider audience. It also helps with the overall optics of your campaign. Here are a few tips and tricks to maintain security on the political trail.
Protect your information and strategies.
There are some simple ways to protect your information. Just be extra careful not to leave your sensitive data anywhere and only send confidential information to the correct people. Reporters are always looking for a scandal and your opponents will be trying to gain insights into your campaign strategies. Just take extra steps to protect your physical information and keep your plans and platform ideas top secret. This is one of the best practices for overall success with your campaign.
Don’t fall for hacking scams.
For individuals who are newer to email and digital platforms, there are hacking scams they may fall privy to. The most common form of social engineering is phishing attacks. Hackers will pose as an official email address and ask for login credentials or personal information with a sense of urgency. Be on the lookout for these malicious links or phishing situations. Falling for these hacking scams is one way your credentials and sensitive information can be shared and stolen. Don’t take the bait. If something seems sketchy or too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut.
Secure your own server and software.
It’s hard to run a political campaign today without a web presence. You’ll need a campaign website to share your platforms, logos, fundraising needs, and more. Your site will be the gateway to all the information about your campaign and how you plan to help your constituents. To keep all of this secure, consider securing your own servers and software that have built-in firewalls and protect against cybercriminals. This way, you can focus on building a great platform without worrying about it being hacked or infected with malicious software.
Train your team to keep everything confidential.
When you’re putting a team together for a political campaign, you need to surround yourself with people you can trust. The best way to do this is with a thorough screening process and keeping sensitive intel on a “need to know” basis. Of course, you want to think the best of people, but sometimes it’s too easy to share personal information or hot gossip. Try to prevent this by training your team to keep things confidential.
Make sure you have in-person security as well.
As you’re attending campaign events, you will need heightened security. Depending on the level of your position or office, you may have secret service or other bodyguards assigned to you. Before you go anywhere, canvas space and screen individuals you’ll be in contact with. You never know when an angry constituent could try something, so be prepared to keep yourself and your team safe.