Are You Secure?

Posted on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Information technology (IT) is usually one of the more challenging areas for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits often have limited budgets and resources for hardware and software, as well as technology support staff. Many times nonprofits make do with older computers and the help of volunteers to run their IT system. Despite these limitations, it is important for nonprofits to protect their own internal information, as well as external information received from donors, clients and other sources.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your data is protected.

Restrict access. Not everyone within the organization needs to have access to all information. Restrict access so that only those individuals that need the information have access to it. The more people with access, the more chance of security breaches.

Physical security. Require unique computer and software passwords for all users that must be changed occasionally. Consider encrypting files. Make sure your server is kept in a locked area.

Educate. Educate staff and volunteers about the importance of security. Make sure everyone is aware of the organization’s policies and consequences of not following them.

Backup. Make sure all data is backed up regularly and a copy of the backup is kept off site.

Keep only what you need. Set limits on the type of information the organization keeps. For example, you do not need to keep donor social security numbers and credit card numbers.

Online access. Install firewalls and anti-virus protection software to keep computers safe when connected to the Internet. Be sure to keep the anti-virus software updated to avoid new viruses. If you provide a wireless Internet, require users to log-in with a password.

Posted by: Carrie Minnich, CPA

Posted in Mission Minded Nonprofits

Disclaimer: The information contained in Dulin, Ward & DeWald’s blog is provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice on any subject matter. Before taking any action based on this information, we strongly encourage you to consult competent legal, accounting or other professional advice about your specific situation. Questions on blog posts may be submitted to your DWD representative.

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