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Cyber-security advice for churches from Baptist Insurance 

 

Cyber-crime is on the rise and criminals are finding increasingly sophisticated ways to attack computer systems and extract valuable data. Baptist Insurance wants to alleviate your concerns about cyber-security and help protect both yourself and your church against an attack.


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What are cyber-risks?

Cyber-criminals have many sophisticated techniques to access data and information for the purpose of financial gain and to commit fraud. The most common methods include:

  • Ransomware – where an attempt is made to extort money from you by preventing access to your computer system or files until a ransom is paid, most of which is delivered via malicious emails.
  • Phishing – the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable organisations in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and financial information.
  • Spear phishing – the practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.
  • Smishing – this works like phishing and is carried out using text messaging.
  • Vishing – this again works like phishing and is carried out using voice technology, i.e. phone or voicemail.



What can your church do to protect themselves?

Some churches may feel vulnerable to cyber-threats, as they have little knowledge around the correct and safe procedures to protect their finances. The good news is we are here to help and have included a list of some of the simple actions you can take:

  • Educate/train staff – all staff should be wary of unsolicited emails, particularly those that ask for a prompt response. Educate your staff on what types of information are sensitive or confidential and highlight their responsibilities in protecting it.
  • Malware protection – make sure you use appropriate firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software and keep virus/spyware definitions up-to-date. This allows the software to recognise and protect against the latest threats to your network.
  • Password protection – ensure your mobiles, laptops and computers have strong passwords and try to change them on a regular basis.
  • Destroy before disposal – don’t just delete files or reformat hard drives, as data can still be restored. Instead use software designed to permanently wipe the hard drive or storage device.

 

You can learn more about the threats posed by cyber-crime and find more detail about how to defend your church and data by reading the Baptist Insurance cyber-security guidance notes and FAQs.

For more information, visit the website: www.baptist-insurance.co.uk/cybersecurity 



 
Baptist Times, 07/02/2020
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