Did you know that your web security can have a direct impact on how many people could find your site as well as who would potentially donate to your cause?  The wrong settings can literally cost you hundredsif not thousandsof dollars a day. When your settings are not properly secure: 


  • Browsers might warn your patrons that “something is wrong”.  Modern browsers are starting to have higher expectations when it comes to SSL and have begun to warn users that sites are potentially dangerous, and not secured.  The result is that users may feel unsafe giving funds on your site, even if your method of accepting funds is safe. 
  • Anti-Virus Filters might block your sight: Many anti-virus products like Norton Utilities and Mc Affee anti-virus, will now give warnings and even block sites that are not secure. 
  • Search engines will not display your site.  Google and Bing prioritize web sites that have a higher security on searches.  This is because often sites that are not using SSL are either older, or not as well maintained.  The result would be that some people who are looking for your charity may never find you.  

So how can you tell if your site is secure?  Check the web address in your browser: You are looking to see if it starts with Http:// or HttpS://. The “S” stands for secure (see terms below). Does it include the “S”?  If so, then you’re all set.  If not, then you can take these next steps to get that fixed: 

  1. Get a Valid SSL certificate.  SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer It’s synonymous with HTTPS, and it is used to encrypt all the data you and your users share when browsing your web site. This is what stops hackers from seeinyour patron’s personal information or what they are viewing on your web site. It also prevents the wrong people from seeing private information that patrons might be typing into a form for your charity.  You can get this SSL certificate from the company that is hosting your web site. If you don’t know how to do this, contact your Hosting Company, and ask them to help you setup SSL for your site. 


  1. Next, see if your Browser shows a lock symbol.  Next to your name in the web address bar, you should see a small pad lock symbol that is locked.   If you don’t see that, there might be an error or warning message there saying your site might be dangerous. 


  1. Finally, Check with your Web Site Admin and Ask if they are up to date and secure with SSL: Test your rating on SSLLABS here.  You should be a “B” rating or better. For most sites, “B” may be all that you can get to realistically and that’s OK since a lot of hosting companies don’t provide the tools to exceed that rating. 

Once you take all of these step then make sure all of your content points to https://. Often web designers or admins will point to images or other information of other websites, and they will not add the “S” in https:// this creates an insecure link. 9 times out of ten, simply adding the S will cure the problem.  From there, you’re all set.   


And don’t forget these helpful terms and Terminology: 

HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol 

HTTPs: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure 

SSL: Secure Socket Layer 

TSL: Transport Layer Security