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iCarol solution for common data security issues

40% of non-profit organizations have none or need to improve their data security practices.

  A survey done by NetAction reports on common security issues.  In this article we summarize those issues and show you how iCarol resolves them. Password protection Some organizations allow users to logon to the computer without a user name and/or password and some others allow users to login with the same password and/or user name. iCarol generates a specific user name and password for each user that has been authorized by the iCarol Administrator. This ensures that certain access rights remain user specific. Lock out a computer when not in use Only about a third of the respondents (30%) indicated that computer users do lock or shut down their computers most of the time when they are away from their desk. iCarol automatically signs out a user from iCarol after a certain period of inactivity. Data backup The frequency as well as the location where backups are stored is an important security consideration. For example, if the building in which a nonprofit organization is located is destroyed in a fire, a backup stored on site is likely to be destroyed along with the computers. Our survey found that 39% of nonprofits stored backups both on and off site, and 15% stored them only off site. iCarol performs data backups at least every 15 minutes and holds it in a secure offsite location. In addition, iCarol Admins can export all their data at any time (ex. call report data, staff and volunteer data, referral database information, shift details, and more) Virus Protection The survey found that nearly two-thirds of nonprofits (63%) update their anti-virus software one or more times per month, only 1% never update the software, and only 3% don’t have anti-virus software installed. A virus attach can generate significant data loss. iCarol has a rigorous security audit that is being performed daily by McAfee Secure, an independent company that monitors over 75,000 websites daily. It’s the same standard that major financial institutions require to be able to do transactions with each other. Data Encryption Encrypting sensitive and/or confidential files is another important security practice. It prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to confidential documents and ensures that any modifications to the data are revealed. Yet 70% of the nonprofits surveyed do not use encryption. In iCarol your information is password protected and we use 128-bit SSL encryption. Your vital data is only viewable from authorized computers and your call content is encrypted and garbled in our database for viewing only by your authorized iCarol account holders. We also encrypt sensitive information about callers all the way into the database and hard drives, so not even our technicians can see that information without authorization from you. In addition, you can choose to have your call reports shredded automatically after a period of time. Firewalls Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) indicated that there was a firewall between their office computers and the Internet. But 23% do not have a firewall, and 14% didn’t know. iCarol uses advanced hardware and software firewalls to prevent electronic intrusions. Disaster Planning Nonprofits use computers for virtually all of their critical operations, so preparing for a disaster is no less important for nonprofit organizations than for businesses and government agencies. Yet nearly half of the nonprofits in our survey (49%) do not have a data recovery plan in place to implement in the event of catastrophic data loss. iCarol has been available consistently over 99.9% of the time since we started monitoring in March 2005, including scheduled downtime for maintenance.  Our live uptime since 2005, is measured every two minutes by an independent third party, SiteUpTime.com. In case internet connection is down in your office it is recommended to export your resource information and your call report form(s). iCarol offers a special feature that performs a scheduled download of your resource information into standard formats, like Microsoft Word and Excel, that are browseable, searchable, indexed and ready for printing. It is possible to enter past call and shift information retroactively into iCarol. To read the full report, click here.


iCarol is your help line software company that is here to make your job easier as Executive Director or leader of a non-profit contact center. Whether you have a crisis, help or 211 referral line, we are here to help you help more people in your community. Read more…

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