I’ve been hearing about “encryption” for years. What is that anyway?
You’re not alone here. In fact many therapists and insurance companies are not sure what it means either (even as they have been using it for years for claims and credit card processing). Mental health encryption is actually believed to be stronger than that of banking and claims processing sites. Read on and you’ll see what I mean …
Kurt LaRose MSW LCSW
Encryption means that you receive in a “location” (a file directory) jibberish until you use a highly sensitive password to log in. That is when someone sends you information, it may look like a language on the screen but once it is saved or sent it is placed in the file directory as “#1;lkjd-89uaj?xx///fkjt5002” (for example) which is now encrypted. For it to be un-encrypted the receiving party must have their own user name and highly sensitive password. Once the sender logs in encryption is undone for the sender and until the receiving party logs in the data for the (and anyone else who may try to access it) is jibberish. Mental health records have to be highly protected by state and federal laws. Some secure platforms will not only require highly sensitive passwords (letters, numbers, upper and lower case plus symbols for example) but they will include security certificate verification software that continually checks that the URL (the domain and the sub-directories or sub-files within in the URL) to make sure the the secure socket layering (SSL) is active and working.
I’ve been writing about and presenting about secure server technology for years going back to 2010 and 2012. In 2016 I was pleased to be a lead presenter at the NASW-FL State Conference regarding online mental health platforms. In 2010 the jargon for online mental health was still formulating. Today words like asynchronous, synchronous, secure and encryption have to be understood by consumers of mental health for privacy reasons alone.
Going further though, secure platforms will also require users to go through a manual robot verification step to ensure that it is a person sitting behind the screen. Then, and this would be a fourth layer of security protection, some secure platforms will authenticate (or allow for 2-step authentication settings) the device. The secure and encrypted platform used by TalkifUwant includes all of these layers of protection (and the secure server also has non-daisy chained servers) located in different cities and in different states. As of today’s date the secure practice digital portal has not been hacked (even as some insurance companies have been, some school districts and even some federal government sites). With LaRose, even if the Talkifuwant.com site were hacked, the secure digital practice server would not be impacted at all! For more information on encryption, generally speaking, have a look here: https://g.co/kgs/FrjrEt
How can I tell what is “talkifuwant.com” and what is the secure server of talkifuwant? Click here for the PUBLIC domain and then click here for the Secure Practice Server! If you’d like to read more about secure and non-secure communications check out the summary on our Contact Us page too.
Wanna learn more? Take a look at our online therapy page for starters.