About Secure and Confidential Online Communication
When you select online counseling via email, after an initial in office intake assessment you will be signed up for an encrypted email account at www.therapyappointment.com and given a username and password. This is a secure messaging system that provides unparalleled privacy protection. Using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol and server encryption, Therapy Appointment offers the highest possible protection for email.
Text messages are not secure unless you are using a service such as Signal by Open Whisper and will be used only for scheduling or housekeeping issues. I will not respond to personal and clinical concerns via text or regular email.
If choosing audio counseling through phone, either use a landline or CellCrypt or Kryptos for encrypting outgoing Iphone calls to ensure privacy.
I use both hardware and software firewalls to prevent unauthorized external access to my computer. If you are concerned about privacy, I encourage you to add a firewall to your own system. A popular and effective software firewall for personal use is available at no charge from Zone Labs Inc.
If others have access to your computer, you can use a password to stop them from viewing your documents and other information that may be stored on your hard-drive. I also recommend any session information or personal journaling stored on your hard drive be encrypted. Consider Cryptainer, free software that allows you to secure your data and ensure absolute privacy. Be sure to fully exit all online counseling sessions and emails.
Workplace Computers/Email Privacy
Since employers usually have a legal right to view data on company computers, I advise you to protect your privacy by avoiding the use of workplace computers for online counseling. If you are using free internet at a library or other public place, be sure to fully exit all Therapy Appointment conversations, close the browser and log out of the computer before leaving.
Other Privacy Considerations
If you are in a relationship that is abusive or someone you live with does not respect your basic right to privacy, please be aware that the same programs employers use to view data on employee computers is available to individuals as well. These programs record every keystroke made on the computer even if a program such as is Therapy Appointment is being utilized. If you have reason to suspect someone of going to such extreme measures, then online counseling may not be a suitable option at this time.