The nonprofit industry is full of organizations that rely on the generosity of donors for their survival. These organizations are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than most companies. The more money they can raise, the more people they can help, and this is why it’s so important to keep donor data secure. In this blog post, we will discuss four key ways that nonprofits should follow to protect and keep donor data secure.
1) Install a Firewall
The first way to keep donor data secure is to install a firewall. If you’re not familiar with firewalls, it’s basically like an Internet security system that keeps out hackers and viruses from your computer. Firewall software should be installed on every nonprofit organization server and all computers within the network (like laptops and desktops).
If any of these devices are ever infected by malware or spyware, it can spread across servers very quickly and put donors at risk for identity theft and other cybercrimes. A firewall will protect against this type of behavior because it blocks unauthorized users before they even have access to sensitive information such as passwords and login credentials. Many modern firewalls also include two-factor authentication, which randomly generates verification codes that users must enter before accessing the firewall.
2) Encrypt All Sensitive Data
Encrypting all sensitive data is the second crucial way nonprofits should keep donor information secure. This can be done using encryption software that scrambles your data into an unreadable, jumbled code that even hackers won’t be able to understand. Hackers are always looking for ways to access this information because it gives them complete control over identity theft and other cybercrimes that puts donors at risk of financial loss or physical harm. Encryption not only protects against these types of attacks but also ensures compliance with industry regulations such as HIPAA (if you work in healthcare) and PCI DSS (a standard developed by the major credit card companies). Even if a hacker gets authorization, they still aren’t getting any useful information, so there’s no reason to be concerned.
3) Assign Password Protection to Each Computer Used by Staff Members
The third way nonprofits should keep donor information secure is by assigning password protection to each device. This ensures that even if a hacker does get the access, they won’t be able to see any of your donors’ sensitive data because it will be protected behind a login screen where staff members must enter their credentials before getting into the system. Even though many modern operating systems do come with this feature built-in, you’ll want to make sure every single computer used by all staff members has been set up for this type of security measure.
4) Use Only Trusted Software
By using only trusted software, you can prevent malware and viruses from spreading throughout your organization’s donor data. Many nonprofits experience cyber-attacks because they’re using outdated or pirated versions of advanced antivirus programs. Hackers know this, making their job much easier to access sensitive information, thus putting donors at risk for identity theft and other types of fraud crimes.