Protecting Your Organization from Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a type of cyber attack that locks a users files and forces a payment in return for unlocking the files.

Last week’s ransomware attack was possibly the most widespread and complex global cyber attack to date. In the wake of this incident, we think it’s important to reiterate things you can do to protect your nonprofit (and yourself) from becoming a victim during similar attacks in the future.

On the hardware and software side:

  1. Run updates as soon as they are available. Use the auto-update feature if the software has one. This applies to your operating system, Java, drivers and any other software you have installed.
  2. Backup your files. Preferably in the cloud, but even an external hard drive is better than no backup at all.
  3. Use anti-virus software, anti-malware software and make sure you have hardware and software firewalls in place.

On the user side (and this is the harder part to control):

  1. Educate users about not clicking links in emails from senders they don’t know.
  2. Educate users not to download files from emails and websites they don’t know or trust.
  3. Educate users about “phishing” – how emails can look like they come from a reputable source but aren’t the real deal.

Finally, here’s an article advising what to do if you get hacked by ransomware.


It’s Time for Bagels & Bytes: Open Source Summer Fiesta!

Computer Reach, Humanitarian Computer OutreachIt’s time for our special June B&B meetup!  This year, we will hold our summer meetup, the “Open Source Summer Fiesta,” at Computer Reach on June 7.

As usual, bring your tech questions, ideas, and issues. Join our fellowship of nonprofit techies (all levels of knowledge are equally welcome) as we brainstorm, share ideas and solutions, and support each other.

Additionally, we will receive a demo of the Linux operating system and other open source software from the Computer Reach folks, who will explain how they refurbish computers for nonprofits using these tools!

Bagels & Bytes: Open Source Summer Fiesta

  • Wednesday, June 7, 2017
  • 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Computer Reach, 214 North Lexington Street, Pittsburgh, PA (East End, inside Construction Junction)
  • Parking is available in Construction Junction’s lot.
  • The meeting is FREE to attend, but you must register online or via

Save the Date: TechNow 2017 Conference happening October 19

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofitsAbout TechNow

Join us on Thursday, October 19, 2017, for the 14th annual TechNow Conference, organized by The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University.  Anyone who has an interest or stake in his or her nonprofit’s technology management or usage is encouraged to attend.  TechNow has something for everyone!

TechNow 2017 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Visit the conference website,, for more information.

Aliza ShermanOur Keynote Speaker

Aliza Sherman
Digital Strategist, Author, Speaker, Consultant

Aliza Sherman helped pave the way for women online and in the Internet industry. She is a web and social mobile pioneer whose work helped shape the early new media industry. In addition to starting the first woman-owned Internet company in the early 90s, Cybergrrl, Inc., she has been writing, speaking and consulting about social media since 2006 and social mobile marketing since 2010. She is also well known for her expertise on women’s technology and business issues.

She is an advocate of sensible, practical and manageable uses of technology that achieve business goals. She deftly cuts through hype to get to the essence of what tech tools to use and how to use them well for optimal results.

She has written 11 books, most recently The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit with Beth Kanter.

Follow Aliza on Twitter: @alizasherman

Call for Breakout Proposals: TechNow 2017 Conference

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofits

Share your technology knowledge or “lessons learned” story with other nonprofits at a TechNow 2017 breakout session!

We are looking for leading edge, well-designed and interactive breakout sessions.  The content and format must fit into a 75-minute session.  Vendors are permitted to propose sessions, but we prefer that a nonprofit co-presenter be included.  (We can help you find one, if needed.)

Propose a Breakout Session now!
Session proposals are due by the close of business on Friday, June 2, 2017.

Contact Cindy Leonard at the Bayer Center if you have any questions – – or visit the conference website for more information.

April Technology Classes at the Bayer Center

Technology is the new magicLearn something new in April! Classes include Writing for the Web & Social Media, DIY Websites with WordPress and Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits!

Register online or email if you have questions (or want to register 3 or more people for a discount).

Writing for the Web and Social Media
Thursday, April 6 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Writing content for your website or social media is very different from writing for other types of communications because of the way people read and use the Web. Learn how to improve your written website and social media content, increase your site’s usability as well as readability and improve the effectiveness of your online communication channels.

Instructor: Cindy Leonard, Bayer Center
Fee: $125 ($115 if paid online)

DIY Websites with WordPress
Thursday, April 13 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Are you a website novice who needs to know how to design a basic website that is easy to update and has room for future expansion? WordPress is a website content management system that is great for building and managing websites, even for beginners. Nonprofit staff without previous web design experience and experienced web designers who want to learn WordPress are welcome.

Instructor: Cindy Leonard, Bayer Center
Fee: $125 ($115 if paid online)

Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits
Thursday, April 27 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Using social media for your organization requires planning, strategy and management. Learn what you should consider before getting your nonprofit started in the social media realm, what to expect afterwards and how to keep the ball rolling. You will have the opportunity to work on a draft strategic plan for your organization’s social media that you can take back to your office and refine. Basic social media concepts and terminology are recommended but not necessary for attending this class. We will focus on planning and strategy rather than on “how to” use the social media tools.

Instructor: Cindy Leonard, Bayer Center
Fee: $125 ($115 if paid online)

Celebrate the wrap-up of Steel City CodeFest at “NextFest” on April 7

About NextFest

Steel City Codefest 2017Steel City Codefest and Inclusive Innovation Week are teaming up to bring you a fair of tech for social good in Pittsburgh. Join us as we close out Inclusive Innovation Week and celebrate the participants of Steel City Codefest with food, speakers, and activities for all ages.


  • Mayor William Peduto, City of Pittsburgh
  • Councilman Burgess, City of Pittsburgh
  • Kate Dewey, The Forbes Fund
  • Leah Lizarondo, 412 Food Rescue
  • Awards to Steel City Codefest participants
  • Activities from Inclusive Innovation Week participants

Doors open at 4:30PM. Programming begins at 5:30PM.

Registration is free to all, get your tickets here!

Volunteers wanted for HackFest Pittsburgh event in April

Please note that the Bayer Center is not affiliated with this event. All inquiries should be directed to Presbyterian SeniorCare Network at

About HackFest Pittsburgh

Hackfest Pittsburgh is coming up on April 7-9. The event is being hosted by Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, who is seeking additional volunteers from a variety of backgrounds including developers, engineers, application designers, healthcare professionals, gerontologists, marketing professionals and business experts.

Here are the event details that have been provided by Presbyterian SeniorCareNetwork. You can also download their event flyer here or register for the event here.

Event Details

We’re looking for a good mix of talented people from a variety of backgrounds – both students and nonstudents – to be part of our local LeadingAge HackFest, where you will use technology to solve challenges facing older adults.

The local event will be held at Longwood at Oakmont, A Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Community, located in Verona, PA, from Friday, April 7 until Sunday, April 9.

FREE transportation available from the Oakland area to the Longwood at Oakmont location.

Rough agenda

  • Friday, April 7: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. (includes dinner)
  • Saturday, April 8: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (includes breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Sunday, April 9: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (includes breakfast and lunch)

Cash prizes! Winning team from HackFest Pittsburgh will compete in the national HackFest competition in New Orleans, LA, October 29-November 1. Your travel, lodging and conference access paid!


  • Please apply as an individual. Our coordinators will develop teams of 4 to 6 participants. You may indicate in the notes section of the registration page if you want to be on a team with others you know. We will provide the tools you need to hack.
  • Remember: You must be 18 years of age to participate.
  • To round out the teams, we are looking for developers, engineers, application designers, healthcare professionals, gerontologists, marketing professionals and business experts.
  • The application period closes on Tuesday, March 21, at 11:30 p.m.
  • Your deposit is 100% refundable, which means we’ll give it back to you once you show up and participate in our HackFest.
  • Ideas will be generated at the event itself since we are seeking unique new ideas.
  • Please read and accept the HackFest official rules and legal disclosures (included as a waiver on the registration page).
  • If you have any questions, send an email to