The world today is far more complicated and challenging than ever before. Consequently, many people are seeking comfort in their faith and attending church during these unsettling times. While turning to the church for guidance and serenity can be an ideal way to cope with today’s stressful situations – churches aren’t always the safe haven they are cracked up to be. To explain, church leaders are voicing growing concerns about protecting their members from cyber hacks and other harmful threats from the outside world.
In today’s age, no organization is safe from cyber attacks or security breaches. This is why church leaders are turning to technology to combat the threat of cyber hacks, identity theft, viruses, phishing and other violations against their church infrastructure as well as cyber threats to church members. If you are a leader or administrator for your house of worship, here are a few top tech solutions you should consider to protect your congregation.
Secure Your Church Website
If you’re like most church leaders, you probably spend a lot of time keeping your congregation up to date via your website. A church site can keep your members informed about upcoming events, as well as unite them with the common vision for your organization. A website can serve more dynamic functions such as login features allowing members access to discussion forums, videos or even give them the ability to donate.
While a church website can be a godsend for connecting with the church community, it’s crucial to practice website security practices to keep members safe. Why? Because once a church website advances to the point of allowing members to login with email, passwords and/or personal information – there are inevitable security threats that follow.
That’s why church leaders must strive to protect their member’s information by building an iron-clad, secure church website. This entails obtaining a reliable and secure host, implementing a SSL certificate on the site, and staying on top of updates.
Churches should also educate their members on using complex passwords that are changed regularly, as well as encouraging them to use antivirus software on their computers when accessing the website. These steps all contribute to protecting church data as well as church members from cyber hacks while interacting with a church’s website.
Provide a Safe App
Perhaps your church doesn’t have the capability to maintain a website. Or, maybe you have a website, but you want to diversify – giving your members a better experience, while still keeping them safe. Enter the innovative era of mobile apps for churches. These are dynamic apps that keep congregants deeply engaged with the church community and its mission. A church app also allows leaders to share services, sermon notes, and push notifications about upcoming events. Church leaders are also increasingly relying on these safe, user-friendly apps to keep track of church volunteers, member status, and church staff schedules.
So, how does an app protect a church’s congregation? A reputable church app service should be highly tested, have machine-learning fraud protection in place as well as a dedicated security team. Having these safeguards in a church app makes connecting church members both convenient and more secure than most websites that attempt to provide the same functionality. Furthermore, an established app can protect members’ profiles from identity tampering or fraud when using the app for checking in, making donations, or interacting with the church and other members.
Tech to Protect Places of Worship
In addition to keeping church technology updated and protected from viruses and hackers, leaders must also consider ways to provide safe services for members within the church building itself. It doesn’t matter if church services are held in a prefab building or a historical cathedral – technology is the solution to keeping congregants safe in any house of worship.
For example, many church leaders have opted to install security cameras that record and relay activities in and around the church building to computers or monitors. This is an incredible asset when providing the utmost peace of mind to church-goers, as well as keeping everyone safe before, during and after services.
Furthermore, leaders should look into putting church security policies and procedures in place to protect church buildings from break ins, theft, damage or malicious intruders. Alarm systems can be set up to notify church leaders on their mobile devices, provide panic button functionality, and even lock down a church via electronic doors if necessary. These may seem like drastic measures, but it is one more step to prevent harm to the church community.
The Last Word on Tech Solutions for Church Security
While it is heartbreaking, the sad truth is that churches are more susceptible to all manner of attacks. Technology in the form of internet security as well as a fully integrated alarm system can help protect a church community from threat while engaging in worship.
In conclusion, church leaders do not have to be at the mercy of physical or cyber threats. These tech solutions are the best path to take to ensure the congregation stays safe both on church grounds and off.