One of the most important roles of accounting is to keep data safe. This is especially true regarding payroll information, W-9 and 1099 forms that have social security numbers on them. Nearly everyone knows someone who has been the victim of identity theft, and the church has a legal responsibility to keep anything with a social security number or credit card number secure. This information should be kept in a locked cabinet with access available only to those that must have it.
Also, if you have an e-giving program or credit card machine, make sure that the system that you use is “PCI” compliant (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Anyone who accepts, transmits or stores any cardholder data, regardless of size or number of transactions, must comply.
Since much of this information is also kept on laptops and smart phones, it is also important to make sure these devices are secure with proper passwords, encryption, malware and anti-virus software.
One way to protect sensitive data is to avoid public WiFi. The security measures above do not completely help to protect your data when you are on a public WiFi. Coffee shops and airports often have fake networks. Airline in-flight internet is also unsafe and easy for someone to gain access to your data.