Church Data Security

Churches are vulnerable to a large number of problems, and this has only been exposed in the past few years with the attacks on churches and several security breaches that have been grist for the media for months. Why are churches so vulnerable? There are many reasons actually. Churches maintain a database of the people that belong to them. Earlier, churches used to do this by appointing members of the laity who would be responsible for particular communities and would record the names of people in their community manually. Today this task is done quite effectively through church data management tools. Church data management has made it very simple for churches to record most information they want about their people, but it has also brought in more vulnerability to these records through the Internet.

Church data security is extremely crucial today, because hackers and phishers are targeting church records to get at the information of people within the community. Even something as simple as a residential address of a person or their email ids or phone numbers could be enough for these antisocial elements to wreak havoc in the society.

Churches are religious organizations. That leads to people being quite acceptable of the policies of the churches. But it is not necessary that the information of the people is always safe in the hands of the churches. Unless and until the churches are aware of Internet related problems and implement proper church data security measures, each and every person within the community is susceptible to being a victim of crimes such as identity theft.

When churches used to store their data physically, all they had to do was to lock up their files and take care who they gave the access of the files to. But in this age of the Internet, they have to protect this information from people across the world. Church file security has become a more burning issue in the age of the Internet than it ever was before.

But it is technology itself that comes to the aid of the churches in protecting their members' data. Most church web site software that the churches are using today have inbuilt church file security measures including antivirus and antispyware protections. They have measures like secure email browsers that can scan each downloadable file before they are actually downloaded. Not just that, the email browsers also have their own spam protection tools so that spam mails are directly dumped into the junk folder. The very fact that church web site software applications are using all these measures indicates how vulnerable churches are to external attacks.

Churches themselves must be quite responsible to how they handle their members' data. They must employ particular people to access the church database and there should definitely be password protection. The operators must also be trained in all kinds of online protection methods such as using firewalls, configuring the antivirus and antispyware tools to load at startup and then run automatically, to scan email attachments, and of course, to use their commonsense when they are on the Internet with the church database.

It is important for churches to maintain databases of their people. But it is also highly important that they become alive to the delicate situation the world is passing through in terms of Internet security, and take all relevant measures to ensure their protection.

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