Friday, May 22, 2020

So your church doesn't have an app?

My church does not have a custom phone app. They're costly to commission. A church member with the right development tools can do it, but then there is the maintenance and dealing with the app stores.

However, my church uses a content management system (CMS) for its web site maintenance. The web site has a "what's new" section for time sensitive, newsy items. The CMS stores these sorts of items in an RSS file.

Try entering your church web address followed by an RSS feed name:
or maybe

Once you know you have an RSS file, just tell your members to install a feeedreader app like Feedly. Suddenly, you have a little bit of a phone app!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Churches concerned about videoconferencing bombers

During the pandemic, most of America has been "locked down" for a while, and physical church services have largely ceased. But, many churches have been able to continue to meet virtually through videoconferencing applications.
There have been some reports of hackers "bombing" these services and posting porn or other non-church content. As a result, it is not recommended to post videoconference IDs and passwords on web sites or social media.
My church, St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Fairport, NY, now provides an automated email service. A visitor to the web page can solve the simple CAPTCHA puzzle and provide an email address to get the IDs and passwords. Email addresses and IP addresses are logged.
This is not a perfect solution. A dedicated hacker can go through the mild hassle and use a temporary email address. But, we figure hackers don't really want to go through this hassle if they can just find another church web site with the IDs displayed.
So far, so good. Contact me for more info.