Protecting the Data of Your Customers, Employees, and Donors

Whether you are running a for-profit company or non-profit enterprise, chances are you at one time or another have to deal with personal and confidential information that you are legally obligated to protect. Examples of data that would prove highly attractive to hackers and thieves include:
  • Social security numbers of employees and independent contractors
  • Billing information and bank details for your own accounts or those of your vendors and suppliers
  • Credit card numbers of customers and donors
For more information and thoughts on the legal and ethical obligations to protect confidential data, check out this piece by the American Bar Association.

 Though some of the confidential information listed above may be securely stored on the servers of your payroll and payment processing companies, there is still a risk of this data being breached when it travels between various unsecured network lines and your personal computer, especially if you frequently work in coffee shops, lounges, and other public places with unsecured WiFi connections.

In order to secure your internet traffic at all times, it is worthwhile to look into purchasing a VPN subscription. A VPN (in the least technical terms possible) is essentially a encrypted tunnel through which all data to and from yourself and the websites you access travel through, shielded from prying eyes. Several VPN services such as CactusVPN offer monthly subscriptions at very affordable rates. CactusVPN can route your traffic through their US VPN, UK VPN, and/or Netherlands VPN servers based on the plan you choose. A VPN plan is something to explore if you or other employees enjoy working remotely. A few dollars a month is a worthy expense to insure against the larger loss in profit and reputation from a data breach.