With the increased use of web-based technologies, it is important to understand how to best protect your information from those who are looking to steal it. Review resources below to learn more about internet and information security, how to protect your information, and what to do if your information has been breached.
North/West Lower Michigan Synod Resources
ELCA Churchwide Resources
Federal Trade Commission Resources
The Federal Trade Commission has resources on current scams and actions you can take to report scams. Learn More.
Recent Email Scams
In recent months, pastors, church leaders, and congregation members have been increasingly targeted by hackers and/or bad actors. Oftentimes, the bad actor pretends to be someone you know and asks you for help “discreetly” or “privately”. This ultimates results in them asking you to send gift cards or wire them money.
Bishop Satterlee and the Synod Staff will not contact you in this way. Please do respond to those emails or send any money or gift cards.
If you receive one of these emails, do not send any personal information, money, or gift cards. If you are unsure if the email is fraudulent, check the email address it was sent from and contact the person separately (ex: call/text using a number you know is theirs, send a separate email to an account you know is theirs, talk to them in person). Do not respond to the email you suspect is fraudulent.
If you have had your email account hacked or are worried that it might have been hacked, change your email password. When selecting a new password, make sure to use one that is strong and includes numbers, special characters, and a mix of upper and lower case letters.
If you are hosting Zoom meetings, please be mindful of a new type of pranking in which people join open Zoom calls and share videos of violence or pornography. This is happening with all virtual meeting hosting companies (i.e. GoToMeeting, Skype, etc.), so if you are using something besides Zoom, please adjust your Settings accordingly and have similar protocols in place. Learn More.