The Houston Chronicle reports…
“It used to be the worst thing about church websites was the cheesy clip art. Now, it’s computer viruses.
Religious sites often don’t have strong defenses against malware and can be among the most likely to get hacked, and in turn, infect visitors.
That’s according to a new report from Symantec, a company that makes anti-virus software. It found that websites with religious or ideological themes were three times more likely to carry viruses than those with pornography or other adult content. Oftentimes, they’ve been “booby-trapped” with malicious code inserted by hackers.
“It is interesting to note that websites hosting adult/pornographic content are not in the top five, but ranked tenth,” Symantec said, in a story by AFP.”We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free; it’s not good for repeat business.”
These days, nearly 8 in 10 Protestant churches in the U.S. operate a website, according to LifeWay Research, and a majority of Americans looking to join a congregation say they check out churches on the web before they visit.
Researchers at LifeWay note that there’s a range of approaches to church sites, from very basic to super tech-savvy. As churches grow and add more tech professionals, more sites fall into the latter category (and likely carry a much smaller risk of the viruses Symantec warned about).”