Social distancing practices have caused most philanthropic efforts to move online. Hosting events in this format requires the proper planning and technology for both a rewarding and successful experience. In particular, it is vital to be cognizant of the necessary precautions to ensure online safety and security. In honor of October being Cybersecurity Awareness Month, take time to consider the following strategies to make your next virtual fundraising endeavors as secure as possible.
Utilize a Hosting Platform
In order to execute your virtual fundraising event, choose a reliable hosting software or live stream on YouTube or Zoom. You can create and share a live stream link, or schedule a meeting for your users so donors can tune in. Another versatile option for hosting your event is through mobile bidding software that captures your livestream and donations.
Emphasize the Importance of Strong Passwords
Charitable fundraising software helps to streamline management of events by consolidating necessary materials such as schedules, presentations, speakers, and guest lists. Some platforms even have live visuals that help donors monitor fundraising goals in progress such as donation thermometers and winning notifications. Requiring a password to join a nonprofit virtual event can help to keep uninvited guests and hackers from disrupting the event and potentially
Protect Consumer Data
Passwords should contain a variety of uppercase, lowercase, letters, numbers, and special characters. Individuals can consult password guideline tips for help and suggestions.
Data is collected and stored on individuals when they partake in virtual fundraising and may include information from IP addresses to credit card numbers. Donor data collection is extensive and does not just encompass the information acquired during the event. Demographics such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are stored for future campaigns and feedback. Therefore, strive to protect consumer data with a next generation firewall to add an extra layer of security and prevent sensitive information from being compromised. This will help to give donors peace of mind to make safe contributions to help others.
Many online silent auction apps and eventplatforms can have very complicated and often confusing privacy policies and user agreements. This can cause potential donors to feel uncertain and hesitate to contribute to your cause. Therefore, it is important to make an effort to clearly document security protocols and demonstrate the steps your organization is taking to uphold security and respect the privacy of participants.
Cybercriminals often solicit donations by creating fraudulent campaigns that can appear very legitimate and timely. For instance, common charity scams are built around disaster relief. It can be easy to fall into this trap when trying to help those in need. However, remind your participants and loyal supporters to donate only through verifiable and official event channels. Remind individuals to look out for the common indicators of these fraudulent scams such as urgent messages and cash or gift card requests to prevent exploitation.
Remind Users To Stay Vigilant
Putting the time and effort into hosting events for the greater good is rewarding. Make sure that your organization’s event is designed in a way that encourages participation, builds trust, and is secure. Therefore, don’t wait to pay attention to cybersecurity after a breach has happened. It is critical to remain cyber aware at all times and have the proper protocols in place. With the right precautions and plans, charitable fundraising can truly be a powerful experience.