Online data privacy is the hot topic of the moment and due to the nature of counselling I have resurrected this page to help you minimize your privacy being compromised.
I have outlined some details that you may already be aware of, or may need to be made aware of before you respond to any online sites – this is particularly important on counselling sites and for the duration of your counselling experience due to the nature of the data shared.
We know how easy it is for hackers to get hold of our information online. Your privacy is only going to be as good as your internet security and the choices you make in what you share.
For this reason, especially in the sensitive area of personal information and contact details given out on contact forms, I would advise setting up an email address with a bogus name, for use on any and all initial contact for any website.
Your personal privacy and security regarding counselling
I take online data privacy very seriously and it must be your priority and your responsibility in deciding what you share online. When you decide to make contact online, you will need to think about how to maintain your privacy, and you may want to think about the following;
Computer – if you share your computer with others ensure your passwords are not known by others, clear your history and cache after use
Location – when you are writing/reading emails or using a video link; it’s important to feel uninhibited and free to think/feel/talk – out of earshot of others
Internet security – ensure you protect your computer and all your online information using an online security product
Email account – create a new mail account, sign up for an email account in a bogus name that you can use for initial contact, eg on contact forms on websites
The spec of pc / modem broadband etc
These day most tablets, mobiles and laptops come equipped with chat and webcam applications for your online counselling medium, however you will still need to ensure that your device is able to support the connection from the area/room you will be using it in for your sessions, without drop-off
For Email based communications the connection time is less important
uploading / downloading
When you are using certain sites, the connection between your computer and the server is protected by encryption. That means that if someone is eavesdropping on your Internet connection, they will not be able to read the traffic that you send to the website. This is especially important if you are using your computer on a public or office network to email, or if you are using a wireless connection that may not be encrypted, ie some tablets, mobiles
There are many different internet security and antivirus software systems; it is wise to ensure you have something that you are happy with and which works well with your device
Currently I am accepting online payments, but only through Paypal.
For safety tip, ensure that the address bar shows the https://www NOTE the ‘S’ after http which confirms that you are accessing a secured server, ie it should not be http://www
I hope this has been of help.