Making Your Church Website Safer
June 11, 2012
Updated February 27, 2014
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Internet hackers are finding church websites to be easy targets for installing viruses and malware. In fact, church websites have unseated pornographic sites as one of the riskiest places for the safety of your computer. Web users are three times more likely to encounter malware (the stuff responsible for virus, spam and the like) on a church website than an adult site.
All of this comes from an annual internet security report by the makers of Norton AnitVirus. The explanation for this is fairly simple. Many church websites are built or maintained by novices who don’t really understand the workings of their website. Maybe a volunteer built the website and didn’t know how to properly protect it. Or it could be the site is old and has never gone though a content management system upgrade. Whatever the reason, the issue of church sites being full of viruses is a major issue—especially from a visitors perspective.
Sadly enough, I’ve seen the results of hacked church websites firsthand. I was cruising around the internet looking for church website examples for a presentation. More than once, I’d click on a link and get a warning page from Google saying it wasn’t safe to go to that particular site because of malware issues. If everything your church does says something about who you are, what was this warning page saying?
So what to do? I turned to my friend Marc Miller, the web guy at ReFrame Media, and asked him what advice he’d give churches for making their sites less susceptible to hacking. Here are his tips.
Websites aren’t something you can set and forget. They take regular maintenance. You should budget for that yearly, just like you do for things like keeping the lights on. You website is your front door. Don’t risk your reputation over an unsafe website.
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