Perhaps you thought your church records were secure but your computer was hacked anyway.
Causes of Getting Hacked:
You may have taken measures to secure your records but suffered a breach anyway. Look at some of the banks and major retail chains that were hacked and all the personal data that got taken. Churches and ministry organizations usually don’t invest as much into security as these financial institutions.
But, it could have happened due to:
- not keeping security software up-to-date
- not keeping other programs on your computer up-to-date, but especially programs containing records
- using easy to crack passwords
- clicking on malicious links in e-mails
- not locking the door to church offices
Perhaps the biggest reason for some churches is not taking security of records seriously. After all, you don’t have people’s social security numbers or credit card information. Yet, you do have other personal information that can be used in a variety of ways. If nothing else, you could be setting your members up for some nuisance advertising. Why do that?
Results of Getting hacked:
- can erode people’s trust
- can consume a lot of time and effort in fixing the problem
- can lose records
Christ-like Response in Times of Security Breaches:
These kinds of situations will provide many opportunities to extend both grace and truth as you communicate.
If it happened because of a staff member’s negligence, you need to speak the truth with that person in love (Eph. 4:15) to help ensure it does not happen again.
If it was due to something on the server end and you must deal with IT people, it can be easy to get annoyed with them, blame them, and become impatient, especially if they don’t resolve it immediately. Guard your testimony of Christ who came full of BOTH grace and truth (Jn. 1:14, 17).
If you learn who the perpetrator was, think through what you can do to extend God’s grace to the person, even though consequences may be necessary. At minimum, pray for that person.
And, you would hope people would extend grace to you.
If you expect people to extend you grace in such circumstances, you need to be honest with them about what happened and be truthful about measures you are taking to correct it. You must extend whatever help you can to alleviate any problems it may cause them.
Churches and ministries are not exempt from these kinds of problems. How will you respond if it happens to you?