August 17, 2020

The Easiest Way to Protect Donor Privacy

The recent Blackbaud data breach affected a yet unknown number of its 25,000 nonprofit customers, requiring fundraisers around the world to notify their donors that their personal information may have been compromised. Even if your nonprofit was spared this time, no one is immune to hacking incidents like this one. 

If the Blackbaud data breach has your nonprofit worried about your own data security, now is a great time to review and strengthen your nonprofit's data security measures to protect the privacy of your donors, even more so if your organization is just starting to develop data management policies and a culture of security.  

The good news is that there are marvelous resources available through nonprofit organizations like Tech ImpactTech Soup, and NTEN with recommendations for organizations of all sizes. 

So what's the easiest way to keep your data secure and protect your donors' privacy? 

Good password hygiene. 

One of the first things you will learn is how frequently cyber-attacks are founded on a stolen or unprotected password. You may already be aware of best practices: updating passwords at least every three months, using longer passwords, including letters, numbers and symbols - not using your cat’s name, your phone number, or your birthday. But best practices are too often easier said than done. 

A few years ago, the number of logins in my life had proliferated to the point of pain. I admit it. My CRM password was on a post-it on the edge of my screen. Yikes! I knew I was not being safe, but I simply could not keep up. 

It was at a NTEN Conference I learned of the Password Manager, a tool that changed my digital life. Yes, I still have 253 different login passwords. But now I only need to remember the ONE that opens my password manager.

A good password manager may cost you a few dollars a month, but it is more than worth it. Need a new login? Just click to generate a completely randomized password of up to 24 digits and save it in an encrypted database along with your username and website URL. Mine is accessible from the Cloud, so whether I'm on my phone, a tablet, or at my desk it is always there.  

As a consultant, I must be extra diligent about securing client data – just as you must be conscientious about your constituents’ information. But with a tool like Password Manager, practicing good password hygiene does not need to be so hard.  

Written by

Sarai Hoffman

Sarai Hoffman serves as Senior Counsel for TWB Fundraising.


Questions or comments? Join the conversation!

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