Making My Church Website Secure

Updated: Mar 11

The church is being pressed by many factors outside of its control, to move to a more digital platform. We know this because we are a business dedicated to helping churches obtain this goal. Through many discussions with church leaders, we also understand that not every church has the need, desire, or budget to do so.

Through this research, we do know that almost 90% of churches, already have a website, mainly for congregation members to obtain information and new members to look at some of the services.

Some of these websites were built by church leaders or volunteers and not by professional companies and the common focus by the people building these sites is how it looks and what it says. More often than not these websites look good but they are built without adequate security in mind.

Why do I need website security?

Firstly it's important to know that website security isn't just there to protect the church from cyber security threats. It's there to protect your visitors as well. When people visit your website a connection is made between the Host (you) and the user (them).

Think of it as the channel tunnel, England being the user, and France being the website. To get access to France you need to go through the English Channel. The English Channel in this example is the internet.

If we just dig a hole through the earth with no support structure, then there is every chance that the tunnel is weak and it could collapse around us. (The Cyber Criminal) So by placing a secure structure around the tunnel (SSL Encryption), cyber criminals cannot get in and attack our user's devices or our website.

So essentially simple SSL website security is a process where our connections are encrypted and that when our traffic or data (personal details or payment details etc) are passed between us all our connections and traffic are secure.

What is SSL Security?

SSL stands for 'secure socket layer' and is a digital certificate the sits within the host's web server and provides authentication for a website and enables an encrypted connection. These certificates communicate to the user that the website host demonstrated ownership of the domain and its connection is encrypted and secure

How do I know I have a secure website?

It's really simple, in the top left of the screen next to the web browser bar there will be a picture of a padlock. Your web domain will also start with https://www instead of http://www. Here is an example.

Surely all sites are secure as standard?

Through our research and reviewing hundreds of church websites, we can confidently say there is around 60% of websites that are not secure, mainly websites that are very old and certificates have expired or been misconfigured. When a professional company builds your site they will include SSL security, but with a large proportion of websites being built and managed by volunteers or aging websites, it's worth checking yours out.

What can I do if my church website is not secure?

If you are not planning on rebuilding your website any time soon, this is ok, you can still secure your website. There are so many SSL certificate companies that will supply you certificates to integrate into your web servers. If you have a website with a hosting company, they will be able to issue and apply certificates and they actually cost very little. In most cases, you can get simple SSL for around £6 per year ranging to £120 a year. A small price to pay for securing both the church and your congregation.

How can 9Fruits Services help?

If you are unsure about SSL security, would like to talk to someone about how to make the site secure, then please give us a call on 0203 773 5696 and we will give you free advice on what to do. There are also so many other security challenges digital church faces and we provide free security assessments, training services and help you make your digital church a secure one.

Cyber Security Awareness Training

Cyber Security risks are reduced by 70% when applying basic awareness training.

If you are a church leader or volunteer then this course is ideal for you to learn about Cyber Security threats, how to spot them, and how to build good security practices to mitigate risk.

Your church only needs to pay £39.99 for one invite and you can bring as many people from the church as you want to and you obtain a certificate of completion which contributes to your ongoing GDPR compliance

What Is The Agenda?

10:00 Course Introduction

10:05 What is Cyber Security Risk

10:25 Most Popular Cyber Threats & How To Spot Them

11:15 Comfort Break

11:20 Best Practices

11:55 Q&A

12:00 Close

Book your place now and be secure.


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