Altus Dynamics Blog

It's Data Privacy Day: Here's how Altus Dynamics helps Nonprofits keep their data safe.

Posted by James Faw on Jan 28, 2016 2:32:31 PM


Every year on January 28th, countries around the world recognize Data Privacy Day as a way to promote the importance of protecting personal information in today’s technologically advanced society. This cause reminds us of how necessary it is to have systems in place to protect the information that we store in our software and on the internet.

As an organization, it is your duty to protect all of the information located in your systems in order to create a sense of security. In honour of today, we have pulled together some of the ways Altus Solutions respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.

Ditch the Paper Folders

Storing vital information in physical files is never the most secure option. It is too easy for papers to be lost or for filing cabinets to be broken into. Also, today's workforce is always on the go and working at home is becoming more common. If information is in paper documents, that means they are leaving your office and travelling where anyone can have access to them if misplaced. By utlizing Altus software to collect and store information, streamline organizational processes like procurement and keep track of documents all confidential information is stored electronically. This means it's secure online and impossible to get left behind at the local coffee shop by mistake.

Manage Staff Access to Data

The larger your organization the more staff that you have. This is great because it increases potential productivity, but it can be very difficult to control which staff members are allowed to access which information. The wrongs eyes within your organization viewing sensitive information is just as much of a privacy issue as if external people got hold of the data. When all your data is stored online, it's a lot easier to control who in your organization can view it. With Altus Dynamics Permission Controls, you can set exactly who can see what. Seems like a lot of work to set up individual permissions? We've got Role Centers that can set permissions for a variety of individuals in a similar role. Making it easy to give the right access to the right employees.

Got a mobile workforce? They can have the same, secure, permission controlled access to information on any device, any where with our secure mobile access. Now they really don't need to carry a paper file out of the office again.

Smooth Processes are Safer Processes

When your organization's processes are slow, ineffecient and tedious employees tend to take shortcuts, and that's when mistakes can happen. How many times did that invoice with an employee's personal information on it have to be placed on different desks for different signatures before it ended up being processed? The more steps in a process, the more opportunities there are for data to be comprimised. Altus solutions have smart workflows built into them and during your implementation we help to create processes that are streamlined, effecient and secure. Whether it's completing a sensitive HR related process, or creating and storing donor receipts, we can make sure that no data leaks out of the process.

Keep the data in one place

Your organization manages all kinds of data, from personal information about your constituents and staff to financial information about your donations. Having each different type of data stored in a separate system means that data is routinely exported out of one system and then uploaded into another. While some organizations have invested in secure APIs to do this, many times data ends up being dumped into Excel, stored on someone's laptop and then re-entered into a different system. This process has WAY too much room for data to get lost, or in many cases misentered into the other system. When you use an Altus Solution, you get a fully-intergrated system where data only lives once. Your Finance system talks to your HR system which takes to your Payroll system.

Understand Communication Preferences

Your constituents have a right to their privacy, and as an organization that communicates with them you must understand how to best respect their wishes. Intelligent communication from Altus Dynamics allows you to track your contacts’ opt-in email preferences will help you communicate in a way that respects both the privacy of your contacts and the regulations of the law.

Cloud: Secure your Data with the Experts

The future is here, and many organizations are moving over to the Cloud to store their data in a secure place. Nonprofits sometimes struggle with less IT resources and budgets, so by utilizing the Cloud they can take advantage of the economies of scale by essential sharing a robust, secure, professionally managed data center. With Cloud data centers now being offered in both Canada and the US, you can keep your data in the country. Altus Dynamics now offers all our Finance, Accounting and CRM solutions in the cloud. These solutions can be managed by us in a private, single-tenant cloud, or purchased via a monthly subscription to our multi-tenant cloud offering. In both instances, we take on the burden of hosting and storing all the data and keeping it highly secure. You get the peace of mind knowing your data is protected, without all the extra data center adminstration.

These are just some of the things we have in place for our customers. We could keep on going, but I think you can pretty much say we've got your back when it comes to data privacy!

You can follow Data Privacy Day on Twitter using the hashtag #PrivacyAware.

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This Post Was Written By James Faw
James Faw is a Founding Partner at Sparkrock. With a diverse background in Systems, Development and Enterprise Application Integration, James fulfills his role as solution visionary at Sparkrock and to our customers. James’ successes have granted him recognition as a visionary within our industry. Currently, James is focused on building winning business solutions through future product development.
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