Some churches and nonprofits may hesitate to implement online giving due to concerns about the protection of their donors’ sensitive personal data. Fortunately, developers have built strong online giving security systems. Now an abundance of tools exists to address common security concerns. Security doubts should not keep you from developing an online giving solution for your church members or nonprofit supporters. As you implement an online giving solution, remember the following components of security. 

#1 – SSL Encryption/PCI DSS Compliance

This strikes right to the heart of the data security issue. PCI DSS requirements establish a rigid security standard for businesses (and organizations) that accept card payments. If your organization implements online giving, this would certainly apply to you. Because this is a required standard there is an added layer of assurance that security will be robust.

Some PCI requirements are your responsibility as the site owner. On the other hand, your payment provider may manage other requirements.. WooCommerce offers some helpful guidelines on who is responsible for different PCI standards.

#2 – SSL Encryption

In addition, an SSL/TLS certificate enhances your website’s overall security. This is one of the requirements on the PCI standard.

This “back-end” security element helps keep user data encrypted and protected. You can determine if your site is SSL encrypted by checking for the lock icon next to your domain name. SSL encryption establishes a secure connection between your website and its users.

Working in tandem with PCI DSS standards this element provides a sturdy security system for websites that accept payments.

#3 – Regular Website Software Updates

This security component is certainly more elementary but no less fundamental. Keeping your WordPress website (plugins, themes, core software, files, etc.) updated is a foundational security best practice. Applying these basic security best practices isn’t specific to online giving but it certainly contributes to overall website security which is essential to data protection.

#4 – Trusted Payment Gateways

Implementing online giving by integrating with trusted payment gateways is another best practice for data security. Common payment gateways include Stripe, PayPal, and Top payment gateways maintain PCI compliance and responsibly manage relevant aspects of your users’ data themselves. This allows for offsite storage of sensitive data. Utilizing a trusted payment gateway for your online giving system helps to ensure data protection and transaction security.

Diligent Administration Goes A Long Way

Online giving security may intimidate website administrators without in-depth technical knowledge. Here’s the good news: there is technology in place to establish data security and provide strong reassurance. Furthermore, online payment transactions are nothing new and the security systems that protect them are tried and true. Diligently administering your online giving solution will contribute to your online giving security and your peace of mind!

Ready to implement an online giving solution but hesitant to handle the administration? Let us help you increase your donation opportunities through our Fundraising Add-on service. We’ll take care of the technical details so you can focus on your organization’s work!

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