Managing privacy settings in My ChurchSuite
My ChurchSuite is a great way for church members to stay connected. Whether they're looking to swap with someone on your rota, or communicate ahead of a small group meeting - My ChurchSuite makes it quick and easy to look up the contact details of your fellow church members and get in touch with them.
At the same time, we recognise that not everyone may wish for their personal information to be available in this way, which is why My ChurchSuite grants individual church members the ability to personally control which pieces of their contact information are visible to others through the Privacy Settings section.
In this article
It is important to remember that at no time will any personal contact details (name, address, contact phone numbers, and email), or indeed any other information visible in My ChurchSuite, be made visible to anyone outside of the church; it's only visible to others within the church community who have also been granted access to My ChurchSuite. Personal details such as a person's date of birth, marital status, linked spouse/partner, children are never visible to other church members, only to the individual themself.
There are three areas within My ChurchSuite in which fellow church members are able to see another person's contact details these are: My Groups, My Rotas and Search for Others.
Whether these three sections are all available will depend on the ChurchSuite modules your church uses and which areas of My ChurchSuite your church admin has enabled access to. If one of these areas is not accessible it will not appear in the navigation menu on the left hand side of the page.
Note: A rota or group email sent with "Send replies just to me" will always disclose the sender's email address in the reply-to field of the email so that replies are routed back to just the sender (irrespective of whether "email is visible in My ChurchSuite" has been set to not be visible) - it's not possible to send an email requesting replies to "just me" and not have your email address disclosed! A rota or group email sent with "Send replies to me and all other [rota/group] members" will disclose the private rota/group email address in the reply-to field of the email so that replies are routed back to all rota/group members without disclosing all the rota/group member email addresses.
My Groups contains the information of any small groups of which you are a member. Here your contact information (name, address, email, mobile and telephone numbers) will be visible as part of the group member list that other group members and leaders can view.
My Rotas allows you to quickly and easily view the rotas that you are due to serve on. Here your contact information (name, address, email, mobile and telephone numbers) will be visible to fellow rota members and ministry overseers on each of the rotas that you serve on, along with those of anyone else who serves as part of that rota.
Search for Others
In this section you are able to look up the contact details of others in your church; either by scrolling through the list of church members or by typing a name into the search box at the top of the page. In "Search for others", each person’s contact details (name, address, email, mobile and telephone numbers) are visible, along with any contact photo of the person. Clicking on the person’s name will open a page which will contain all of these contact details, along with an embedded map of their address (if their address is visible).
Adjusting your privacy settings
Church members can manage their personal privacy settings in My ChurchSuite, allowing them to choose which elements of their personal contact information (if any) is visible to other church members within My ChurchSuite. Importantly, no child contact information will ever be disclosed. However, parents may be able to view and manage their own children's details if permitted in the Children module > My ChurchSuite module options.
In order to adjust privacy settings you must first go to the Home page. Here you will find the My Details section, which lists all of the personal information that is attached to your particular account. Click the 'Edit' button to the right of the My Details section.
Your Home page can only be viewed by you, so even if you set your personal information as being not visible elsewhere in My ChurchSuite, this will always remain visible to you on your Home page.
Clicking the ‘Edit’ button takes you to the ‘Edit Details’ page, where you can manage and update your personal information (i.e. your name, phone numbers, address, etc). The ‘Privacy Settings’ section determines which elements of your personal information are visible to other church members in My ChurchSuite. A link to your church's Privacy/Data Protection Notice is also provided (where one has been specified by the church).
Church members can also manage their "opt in/opt out" communication preferences for email and SMS communications sent to them through ChurchSuite; selecting whether to receive emails and/or SMS communications or not. Parents can also manage the "opt in/opt out" communication preferences for their children in the My Children section.
Selecting "No" (i.e. opting out) to receiving either SMS or emails will prevent them receiving all communications by that method from your church - including, for example, rota reminders. It may therefore be useful to explain the consequences of "opting out" to your church members.
Note about privacy settings
Whilst we are all familiar with managing our privacy settings in social networking environments, you may wish to consider carefully how you communicate these privacy settings to church members. Un-ticking settings (making personal information invisible to other church members) also means that those details will invisible to other team members or ministry overseers in My Rotas, and to other small group members and leaders in My Groups.