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FALL 2020
 sites are not harmful, there are some websites that use ads to hide mal- ware. Installing an Ad blocker on your browser will block potentially harmful ads from showing up.
Internet Browsing Best Practices When accessing websites, always look for the “padlock” icon and an https:// (emphasis on the last let- ter, s) to be sure you have a safe and secure connection during online banking, shopping or while sending personal information.
Adjust your web browser safety settings for optimal security. On most browsers, such as Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari, the security menus can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window. If you are unsure as to how to maximize your security settings, search on Google for how to do it (e.g., “how to choose maximum security settings on Firefox”).
Clear your browser cache after banking or shopping online to make sure your personal information isn’t stored on your computer.
While browsing the web, you might suddenly encounter something on a web page that appears to be warning you about a problem with your de- vice. It might even look like the alert is coming from your device. It isn’t. These aler ts are pop-ups designed to trick you into calling a phony support number or buying an app that claims to fix the issue. Don’t call the number. Simply navigate away from that page.
Backup Your Computer
Always keep an up-to-date backup of your computer data stored on an ex- ternal drive so that the data could be restored if the computer was stolen, damaged or it malfunctioned. Once the hard drive has been corrupted by a cyberattack, it is too late to do a back- up, so it needs to be done regularly.
The need for regular backups can- not be overemphasized. The hard drive of your computer is a mechani- cal device that can and may well fail—sometimes at the most incon- venient time—and can result in a loss of software programs and data.
Automate the process if your soft- ware has a scheduler so the onus is not on you or others to initiate the backup process, but please make it part of your regular routine. Remem- ber not doing backups is similar to leaving paper records out on the pic- nic table; it will rain!
The backup media should be stored off-site from the source com- puter. Practice retrieving data from the backup device so that you know it is working properly.
Consult with an IT Professional
It is good practice for churches to consult with an IT professional once per year to ensure that their comput- er systems are up-to-date, and they are aware of the latest cybersecurity risks. You may have an IT profession- al in your congregation who is willing to help as a volunteer. Or there are plenty of paid professionals who are willing to come in to offer advice and maintenance.
When facing a security issue with your computer systems, it is better to play it safe than be sorry, so be sure to seek professional advice when needed.
What if We Experience
a Cyberattack?
Because cyberthreats are always changing, it is possible that, despite your best efforts, the computer(s) at your church may be compromised in a cyberattack. If this happens, con- tact an IT professional as soon as possible. A professional who works with computers regularly and is fa- miliar with cyberthreats may be able to retrieve some of the lost informa- tion and restore your computer(s). Be sure to ask them to also put the appropriate measures in place to en- sure maximum security in the future.
It’s important to disclose the breach to those affected. Privacy leg- islation in Canada, which is designed to safeguard the personal data of Canadians, requires that companies
and organizations disclose when a breach has happened to those whose data has been compromised. You can familiarize yourself with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and its requirements at cy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-in- formation-protection-and-electronic- documents-act-pipeda.
Keeping Financial Information Secure
All paper records of donations should be kept under lock and key and ac- cessible to authorized people only. Databases used to keep track of donors should be secure. Most da- tabase software will have security features built into it. Be sure to ask about that when you are acquiring software. The Session should be clear about who has authority to see these records.
If your congregation is receiving gifts by credit card, it is important that this data is kept secured. Online giving forms should be on secure htt- ps:// web pages and ensure that your provider is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) Compliant. Online donation programs will encrypt the credit card informa- tion (number, expiry date, CSV) when it is entered, and the congregation
will never know the complete de- tails (they may be given the last four digits of the credit card number). However, some programs allow you to manually enter the credit card in- formation. If your congregation ever receives credit card information over the phone or on paper for manual in- put, the data should be entered into a system/program that encrypts the information immediately. Any pa- per it was written on should be de- stroyed. (Many programs will store
the encrypted information so it can be used to process another donation at a different time.) It should be clear who can receive donations and enter credit card information, and those authorized should be aware of best practices to ensure donor privacy.
After the Pre-Authorized Remit- tance (PAR) contact person tran- scribes donor bank account informa- tion to the PAR confirmation letter, it is wise to file the original application under lock and key or simply destroy (shred) the application documents and void cheque.
Interac e-Transfer donations via email are often the preferred method of digital giving for donors and church- es alike. However, many banks prefer that churches receive e-Transfers by automatic deposit only. When an e- Transfer uses “question and answer” based password security, funds can be easily redirected to the wrong bank account, either by mistake or by fraud. Talk to your church’s bank about the best way to secure Interac e-Transfers for your account.
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