Security Concerns with an Online Church Directory

Woman Using Smartphone Cyber Security Network

Online directory programs are a great tool for your church. They make connecting with members easy. But because member information is online, the security of the directory may create a concern for some of your members. In fact, one of the most common worries among members is security of your directory and data—and, with the ease of obtaining personal information online, safeguarding information is a valid concern. We agree that your member’s personal information should stay personal and your directory’s security should be a chief concern of any online directory program.

We have put together a few of the most commonly asked questions about directory security and data protection. The answers provided are how we at Instant Church Directory address your concerns.

How is directory data stored?

Directory data is stored using a private cloud environment in a private data center (meaning it does not operate in a “shared environment” with others).
We use industry best practices for securing and backing up our servers and data, including proactive 24-7 monitoring of our services for possible intrusions.

Is member information sold to a third party?

No! Instant Church Directory never sells your member’s information. We simply house it. In fact, we do not look at it; however, we do have the ability to access your directory should you contact us with a question so that we can see what you are seeing. This gives us the ability to provide top-notch customer support. For more information on our privacy policy, click here.

We also safeguard your information by backing it up every five minutes. That means if your electricity goes out while you are building your directory, you will only lose the most recent 5 minutes of data entry.

Who can access the directory data?

The only individuals who can access your church’s information are members to whom you (as the administrator) have granted access. There are three ways to view the directory: via mobile apps, online members’ website access and through PDFs (that can be linked to your church’s website, or physically distributed). Each of these options are password-protected.

For anyone to gain access to the online website and mobile apps, members must first be listed as active members within the directory. The access to be entered into the directory comes through the administrator. Members must have a valid email address listed in the family section of the directory so that they can create and verify a password to gain online viewing access. The PDF access has one password for the entire congregation.

What about members who leave the church?

We understand that you wish only active members to have access to view the directory. Simply mark those members as inactive in the directory. Once they are marked inactive, they will lose access the mobile apps and online access. As for the PDF, simply change the password and re-generate the PDF and the old password will no longer open the PDF.

What about members who don’t want their personal information in an online directory?

With today’s environment, no one wants their personal information violated. Our directory program does not ask for any information that is not already easily accessible online. However, some members will still be hesitant to have their family listed in an online directory. We understand that completely and recommend that you first print a few copies of the directory for these members, then mark them as inactive. Once they are marked inactive, these members will not be able to access the online directory or mobile apps. Their information will not be visible online to others as well.

Still have questions about security?

We understand. Internet security is a broad and ever-changing issue. Remember that Instant Church Directory is with you every step of the way as you build your directory. Helping your members feel good and safe about participating in the directory is part of the process. Feel free to reach out to one of our team members with any other questions. Contact Us Here or send us an email at service@InstantChurchDirectory.com with any questions you have. We’ll be happy to help!

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Author Bio:

Melanie Koenig

Melanie Koenig is a Customer Advocate at Communication Resources, Inc. She is actively involved in her church Sunday school and youth activities – and is always looking for new and fun ways to enhance the Church Ministry and create inter-generational connections. Melanie can often be found at the Softball Field cheering on her daughter with her husband and family.

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