Why you have to be careful when using apps
This last week the internet was filled with a new app called Face app. [An app that lets you put filters on your photo’s] What I saw fell into two categories, friends playing around with it on Facebook and other friends warning against it. After doing research I decided I belonged to the second group. I warned against the use of Face app.
What does this have to do with online counselling?
More than you may think. Face app shows that people will download an app that looks nice before thinking of the consequenses. They will click on ‘accept’ without even reading the terms. [Yes this is something I am often guilty off myself, but not when it comes to apps. The problem with Face app is the following. You sign away any rights of your own photo’s. But what it is worse Face app has strong ties to Russia. This can mean that your information goes into the database of a foreign government.
Apps are used a lot in the modern counselling world. We use them and many of our clients use them. And many of us will install an app without reading the terms. Another app problem that came to light recently was a running app that showed it’s users location. It became a problem when military personel stationed in dangerous areas started using this and without realising gave away their position.
Many apps will ask for a lot of data from it’s users. Even in the days of GDPR they will ask for data that they really do not need in order for the app to work. And they store a lot of information about you.
How do I know which counselling app is safe?
Thankfully there is a website that will help you out with finding apps that are safe to recommend to your clients. It is called ORCHA. ORCHA will give you a great deal of information per app.
Each app gets a score on how safe it is. The higher the score, the safer the app. And they break it down even more.
These are the three main areas they look into and per category under ‘view details’ you can see even more information. It is so good that they look into user experience as well as you don’t want a safe app that is impossible to understand. You get the total picture here and can then make a decision on which apps to share with your clients.
So if you are using or think bout using apps in your practice, have a look at the ORCHA website.