Categorized | Communications, Miscellaneous

Protect Your Donor’s Confidentiality

When donors make the commitment to support a charity, they are not only giving their money or time, but also entrusting the charity with the safe keeping of their personal data.    With identity theft on the rise, it is a considerable responsibility for the charity to protect donors’ financial data as well as personal information.  Here are some ways you can best protect sensitive information without restricting your ability to use a database efficiently.

 

1.     Use data encryption

It scrambles data as it is stored in the databases so that anyone without the decryption ‘key’ – a unique series of characters, like a secure wireless network key, but much longer – will see only the scrambled version of this data.  This can be selective so that for example, all but the last four digits of a credit card number would be scrambled, while name and address information might not be.

 

2.     Protect internet-based access

Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption for your virtual private network (VPN), which prevents anyone eavesdropping on the information being transmitted and eliminates third party access.

 

3.     Purge your data

If you are not using the credit card information there is no reason to have it stored in your database.  This eliminates the risk of your donor’s information being exposed accidentally.

 Thinking of donor security this way helps you understand that it is stewardship of data, not simply the storage of information on a database that is important.  These measures can help ensure you manage your supporters’ data responsibly.

 

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