We live in an online world and communicating with our donors is essential for your nonprofit organization's visibility, sharing your mission and growing your network. Online donations are also increasing as more and more platforms make it easier for giving. Just as in any business or organization it is our responsibility to keep our donor's personal information safe and secure. As stewards of their funds, it is our responsibility to keep one step ahead of hackers and data breaches which could affect our donor's and our relationship with them.
Here are 5 tips to keep your donor's data safe and secure:
- Train Your Team: Everyone on your team including volunteers who communicate through email marketing, social media and all online platforms must be aware of all the risks involved in phishing, cyber-attacks and data breaches. Internal email remains at the top of the list as being the most vulnerable and the first one is all it takes to affect your reputation. Implement strong policies that include strong password requirements, two factor authentication process, data entry protocols, encryption policies for sensitive information, and others.
Takeaway: Research phishing other cyber-attacks to keep one step ahead of the hackers. Hire an outside online security professional to assist in implementing a policy.
- Always Use A Secure Internet Connection: Secure networks are essential to protecting your information and your donor's information. Assure your office is secure and resist using public networks and wireless internet to access business data. Use a VPN or virtual private network. A VPN is a cloud-based network and a very secure way to access your information. It also allows everyone on your team to work safely no matter what their location. Additionally, don’t make it easy for criminals to access your company’s Wi-Fi; include a secure password to access your company’s in-house Wi-Fi.
Takeaway: Keep your data safe and secure from cyber-attacks by only using secure networks.
- Update Your Software: Updating software programs is essential in protecting your data. Popular software like WordPress, for example are common targets for hackers so whatever software programs you are using, make sure you are updating it regularly. Hackers take advantage of outdated installations because they are easy targets.
Takeaway: Keep all of your online tools fully updated at all times. Don't consider software updates as an inconvenience or waste of time. They are imperative and one of the easiest steps to keep your data secure.
- Develop A Lean Information Strategy: Collect and responsibly record only the information from your donors that you need. Develop a lean information strategy and in return donor's online experience with you will be quicker and convenient.
Takeaway: Donors will appreciate a quick and convenient online experience where minimal personal information is required.
When you can show your donors you care about their privacy as if it were your own, you'll win over hearts & dollars in the end!