Generosity beware: protecting your organization and its members from cyber theftApril 1, 20223 min read
WHAT: Americans eager to help the people of Ukraine can donate to a range of organizations offering support. Many will give to charitable drives organized through their houses of worship. Today, 93% of religious organizations with more than 100 members offer online giving, and nearly half of organizations with fewer than 50 members provide the option. While expedient and convenient, online giving can leave organizations and their members at risk for cyber theft.
WHO: While some people might think houses of worship are unlikely to be victims of a cyberattack, the opposite is true. Houses of worship and other nonprofits are prime targets for thieves who want to access members’ personal and financial information. When looking to safeguard your organization and its members, use the following four tips from Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)1:
• Communication – Tell members your authorized methods of giving. Frequently communicating your methods of giving has two very important functions. First, repetition may result in increased giving. Second, members are more likely to identify when something isn’t right. The more they know, the more they can advocate for themselves when they receive a communication asking for money that comes from a suspicious source.
• Education – Teach members who will be their point of contact for donations and how to spot fake requests and report any suspicious requests. You should limit the number of people who have contact with money — even online — so you can easily track it. Whether it is a staff member or volunteer who handles electronic giving, your members should have that person’s contact information and feel comfortable asking questions.
• Smart – As an organization, stay current on cyber-theft trends. Every year, cybercriminals become smarter — and so should your organization’s leadership. Make sure you know about the most common types of cybercrime. Cybercriminals use many forms of trickery to incite emotion in their victims, everything from heartbreaking victim stories to tax rebate checks or winning prizes, hoping to trick victims into sharing their personal or bank information.
• Action – Put cybersecurity measures into practice through existing tools and providers. Important things to consider: password protection, restricting access to your network and backing up critical information.
REMEMBER: These steps can help you safely use online giving for your organization and members. You may continue doing great things for others — but stay safe at the same time.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: For additional cybersecurity safety resources, visit https://www.churchmutual.com/13474/Cybersecurity