Today I’ve been thinking about a new church website for greenwood.church, where I work. You see we’ll be launching a new website for the new year (finally). One thing I had not really thought about was digital security at church. But when I mentioned the idea of a new website to one of our media ministry volunteers, he was excited because he was displeased with our current level of security. He then proceeded to show me how he could rather easily take down our site (hosted on a large church website buiding-hosting company). He works in the network security industry and so he knows what he’s doing. But the experience made me realize that just like target.com or other sites can be hacked, so can a church site. Digital security is vastly important for a church!

His main concerns were that we needed to secure all the giving information, something that was evidently not done well at the current time (his thoughts – I don’t have a clue). So I started checking around with the way several church giving tools handle security. I think I’ve finally found one that will work, and I’ll tell you more about it when I set the new website up. Basically, it allows you to insert a secure strand of code into your site that will handle all giving through their servers at the industry certified (level 1 pci dss).

Secondly, we need to keep church member information secure. This is something that we have already taken steps to do at our church. For instance, there is no personal information hosted on our church website, for the most part. Some people who lead small groups or something like that have opted to put their information on the website and that’s different. But there isn’t a list of member information stored anywhere on our site. That’s important because if we don’t have it on the internet, then it can’t be hacked.

Third, we should invest in an https certificate for the website to add a level of security. This isn’t as big of a deal if the other two things have been done, but it gives your users a little peace of mind. It’s also cheap.

So these three things can easily be done by your church, or even your own personal blog in the next few months so that you can increase your website’s digital security in 2016.

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