Data Security, AI, and Over-Stepping Apps as a Threat to Therapist-Client Confidentiality

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick - June 12, 2024 - PRLog -- When scrolling through Tik Tok one day I had an incredibly uncomfortable feeling as a practitioner. Right there in my suggested followers was a client of mine. To make matters incredibly worse in my eyes, that follower was a teenage client. Now, I will say that this particular Tik Tok account (luckily) is a public-facing advocacy Tik Tok in the mental health genre. This is not some personal account, and yet, it felt wildly inappropriate even though both the client and the account were dedicated to professional endeavours.

If you think you're safe because you're in person with a client—think again! There is no evidence that phones listen to your conversations without consent, but the horrific truth is that they don't have to. Instead, our phones are collecting so much data that they would never need to spy on you! Many of us are logged into Google accounts, Microsoft Accounts, and social media across devices. These apps and websites are collecting data across all of your use cases, including your phone and home computer, tablet, etc. If you've connected to a device, most privacy settings generally are so lax by default that it's likely that you're being tracked no matter how much security you have.

I personally think every single practitioner should have data breach and cyber security insurance, even if their practice is in person. Do you bill online? Do you use a computer with internet to interact with documents and claims? That, in my opinion, is enough to warrant the highest level of cyber insurance for your practice.

Check your devices, check your apps, and turn on the highest level of privacy – EVEN IF THIS DEVICE NEVER INTERACTS WITH A CLIENT DIRECTLY. I also suggest using a VPN on your phone so that the location is now shown while with clients, or simply turning the device off so it cannot interact. If you do go the VPN route, pay for one, free is cheap for a reason.

I have worked as a web, graphic, and print designer for 10 years and hold an Honours Diploma in Creative Digital Media. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and was heavily interested in cyberpolitics and security during this degree. I am not a licensed counsellor in New Brunswick. I offer consultation and advice for therapists here. (

S. Raymond Counselling and Media Inc.
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