We’ve all gotten used to the news about website ‘hacking’ and ‘breeches of information’ – but does that only affect the politicians and big businesses – or should my church be concerned about it too?
The answer is YES – your church/organization should absolutely be concerned about how secure your website is.
Keeping your website secure is extremely important for your organization – but many churches don’t recognize the importance and overlook it.
5 reasons to secure your church website:
Reason #1: Your Reputation
You work too hard on your church’s reputation to have it damaged by needlessly overlooking the basics of securing your website. You don’t have to – nor can you afford to – become Fort Knox, but you certainly need to show due diligence. If you don’t, and your site gets compromised, it could have a negative affect on your church’s reputation.
Things do happen, and you can’t prevent every security situation. If someone really wants to compromise your site…it will happen. But, if it does, in the fallout you want to be able to show that you took some best practice steps to prevent it. It’s just the smart thing to do.
Reason #2: Your Visitors
As church leaders, we know all too well that people have expectations. Sometimes those expectations are unfair, but when it comes to your website, it’s 100% fair of your users to expect your church to take steps to protect their data.
Even if it seems unlikely that a hacker would be interested in your church’s data – we live in a world now where some people may actually be very interested in getting information about who goes to your church – and using that information maliciously. Don’t risk it. You owe it to your users to show that your church is up to speed on the basics of securing your website.
Every user that comes to your site should feel confident that your team has thought of them and protected your website. If for no other reason, it’s just the courteous thing to do.
Reason #3: Your Donors
It’s one thing to visit your website, but its an entirely different thing to GIVE on your website. Donors are savvy, and one of the first things they look for on your site is whether it appears to be secure.
Even if you are using a 3rd party tool or software to process transactions securely, you should take a few easy steps to make sure your entire website is secure. It gives confidence to your donors from the minute they access your home page!
Every single page of your website – not just your ‘donation’ page – should have this in the browser’s address bar to show it’s protected:
Reason #4: Your Staff
Let’s just say that one day your site gets compromised. Who’s going to react to that and how fast? It’s most likely going to involve your staff, and it’s most likely going to be something very urgent.
You’ll want your staff to drop everything and get it fixed, right? You owe it to your staff (or yourself) to avoid that situation by keeping your site protected as much as possible – and having a recovery strategy already in place to fix any problems that arise. Don’t force your staff to be reactive – help them by being proactive.
Reason #5: Your Listing
Did you know that a secure website is a factor on how Google positions your site in search? In fact, Google and other search engines are now penalizing websites that are not listed as secure.
What does that mean for you? It means that if your website isn’t being securely accessed by the search engines – you are less likely to appear at the top of the search engine listings. Plain and simple: it will be harder for your audience to find you.
5 Questions To Ask Your Web Person/Team:
Take some time with your website team or website provider to ask some important questions:
- What is our website backup & restore strategy?
- Do all of our pages show up as ‘secure’ – with no ‘mixed content’ that is un-secure?
- Is our website Administrative area hidden well from being accessed?
- Do we have a good system/process for protecting our user’s passwords?
- Are we using any tools to monitor the security of our website?