Google Apps for Non-Profits = Powerful, Free IT. Here's How to Use It Safely.

At Boots Road Group, we often work with non-profit groups doing important work in the community - work that requires close coordination and efficient communication to succeed.

Therefore, we always have our eye on technologies that can facilitate our client's work at a low cost and with high efficiency. For email and document sharing, you can't beat the cost of Google Apps for Non-profits - it's free! If you are paying for email, document sharing, or online advertising, you might look into Google for Non-profits: http://www.google.com/nonprofits. We commonly set this up for clients, and it is easy to use, cost-effective, and reliable.

Google does a great job of filtering out spam and offering many options to enhance security.

This brings me to today's security tip - helpful for anyone with a Gmail or Google Apps account. Did you know that it is relatively common for email accounts (offered by any host, not just Google) to be taken over by hackers? There are some general and Google-specific measures to prevent this I want to share with you.

  1) Use a secure password (check out http://strongpasswordgenerator.com) for your email. Don't share your password or write it down. Consider storing it in Lastpass (http://lastpass.com) or another secure password keeper.

  2) Turn on encryption for your email connection - this simple step will encrypt your password and email as it goes across the network so it isn't easily viewed by a random hacker in a coffee shop or sitting in a car outside your house. Here's how to do this in Google and Google Apps:

    - Google Apps - Click the gear to "Manage this Domain". Then go to "Security | Basic Settings | Enable SSL"  and make sure it is checked.

    - Gmail - Do this for all of your Gmail accounts and those of your family members: Log in to your Gmail from Firefox or another non-Chrome browser. Click the Gear, then make sure that "Settings | General | Browser Connection | Always Use HTTPS" is checked.

Hopefully this information will help you establish more cost-effective, secure, efficient communications in your non-profit or business venture.

Boots Road Group is happy to help you set any of these items up. Visit us at http://www.bootsroad.com or give us a call at 831-612-9200.