Cybersecurity for Coaches and Therapists
A Practical Guide for Protecting Client Data
This groundbreaking book filters down the wealth of information on cybersecurity to the most relevant and highly applicable aspects for coaches, therapists, researchers and all other practitioners handling confidential client conversations and data.
Whether working with clients online or face to face, practitioners today increasingly rely on the cyberspace as part of their practice. Through a solutions-focused lens, the book provides easy-to-apply practical advice and guidelines using non-technical language, enabling practitioners to mitigate the rising threat of cybercrime, which can no longer be ignored. By the last page the reader will have knowledge and awareness towards: securing devices, spotting financial fraud, mitigating the risks of online communications, operating more securely from a home office and handling a cyber event if one occurs.
Clear, concise, and easy to follow, this guide is a pivotal resource for coaches, therapists, researchers and all other practitioners protecting their clients and businesses.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Cyber security is here to stay 2. Securing PCs and other devices 3. Networks, login credentials and embracing friction 4. Keeping communications confidential 5. Cyberattacks 6. Scams tailored to your profession 7. Payment fraud directed at your practice 8. Ethics and data 9. Case studies 10. Checklists and conclusions Afterword
Alexandra J.S. Fouracres is a cybersecurity manager and cyber fraud expert in addition to working as a coaching psychologist, academic and published researcher. She holds qualifications in coaching psychology and positive psychology and is a member of the British Psychological Society.
"Rapid technological change is fast-tracking the development and utilisation of digital innovations in applied psychological practice. The past five years have dramatically increased the digitisation of traditional psychological acts and services ranging from psychodiagnostics to e-Therapy/Coaching. These innovations aim to scale the availability of psychological services and increase accessibility for traditionally marginalised communities. COVID-19 has made these digital psychological services more than a novelty but established such as the norm. Psychological practitioners have adopted new technological approaches to their assessment and development practices to compensate for the barriers COVID-19 restrictions have placed on their traditional approaches to practice. However, are we aware of the challenges this new way of work poses to our practices and our clients? Do we know the risks that this new way of work poses for our clients' safety, security, and psychological well-being? And are our practices prepared for managing the risks associated with digital mental health services?
In her new book, Alexandra explores the contemporary challenges, risks, and ethical dilemmas that digital mental health services pose to data security and client welfare. Specifically, she provides a practitioner friendly guide for managing digital client data, mitigating risks and securing your practice against cybercrime. Her book further attempts to enhance practitioners’ digital competence to ensure that you have a future-fit, resilient and digitally secured practice. This book is a ‘must’ for any therapist, psychologist, or coach venturing into the world of digital mental health."
Prof Dr Llewellyn van Zyl, Extraordinary Professor in Positive Psychology, NWU
"Nobody expects to be the victim of cybercrime or defrauded. Yet thousands become victims of cybercriminals each day. Imagine the feeling if criminals steal and leak your clients’ biggest secrets? The good news is that you can help prevent it from happening by reading this book. Alexandra, both a coach and cyberfraud expert herself, provides actionable and proven tips on how to ensure that you will not become the next victim of the criminals. Read this book - and learn from one of the best!"
Mindaugas Kutkaitis, Fraud Prevention Expert, Financial Services
"This book is a must-have for any coach, therapist or organizations handling sensitive data whose eyes glaze over when the word "cybersecurity" is mentioned! It’s jam packed with information and tips to ensure you’re safely and securely protecting your business and your clients’ confidentiality and information more broadly. It also helps you create a trusted and safe environment which is the foundation of a strong client relationship."
Dr Suzy Green, D Psych (Clin) MAPS, The Positivity Institute - Founder & CEO
"Whether we like it or not, cybersecurity should be part of our lives in this time and age in which cybercrime is proliferating. In a solution-focused approach, Alexandra Fouracres describes how to navigate this new challenge in an effective and inspiring manner. This book should be read by all practitioners."
Dr Itai Ivtzan, School Director, School of Positive Transformation
"A fascinating book which is an essential read for those of us who work in digital environments as coaches, mentors and consultants. Alexandra helps identify the current risks and what individuals and coaching businesses can do to protect themselves, their clients and their business from viruses, scams, data theft and other online risks."
Prof Jonathan Passmore, Professor of Coaching & Behavioural Change & Director, Henley Centre for Coaching & Behavioural Change
"As psychologists bound by a code of ethics, we are all aware of the need to ensure the confidentiality of our clients and data security relating to our practice. However, few of us are experts in this area. In this book, Alexandra brings together her experience as a fraud intelligence and prevention manager and a coaching psychologist to inform and support practitioners' awareness of risks, prevention and compliance strategies and the ability to detect and react to potential breaches. Having recently worked with the British Psychological Society to establish standards for Chartership in Coaching Psychology, I'm confident that this book will help those within our particular domain of practice to understand and meet standards relating to client confidentiality and compliance with data privacy legislation."
Dr Marie Stopforth CPsychol. AFBPsS
"We all need to realize, that the cyber security challenge will not be solved by any single actor, service provider or authority. Everybody needs to take actions and show responsibility and contribute to a joint defence against the dark. We need to consider, how it would feel if our lack of security, led to a client falling victim to a cyber crime. I have experienced, myself, how a therapist got his computer infected with malware and in the beginning unknowingly leaked customers sensitive information, and after I informed him, kept leaking data, simply caused by a lack of understanding and knowledge of how to handle the situation. Therefore, this book is like rain in a desert."
Sune Gabelgård, Head of Financial Crime Prevention, MobilePay
"This book gives the reader a non-nonsense, digestible way for therapists and coaches to approach IT security. It shows the reader that with sensible, attainable behaviours it is possible to minimise risks for both themselves their valued clients, as well as practical examples to learn from. It reinforces an important message, that good digital hygiene is becoming less about raw technology and more about a holistic, defensive mindset."
Sean Henley, Technology Strategy & Resilience Manager, Financial Services
"Cybersecurity... Oftentimes people will get intimidated by this term. That is something for the 'IT Expert' to sort out, not me. No one will actually try to attack my information or account. That is for the 'big companies'. That is a misconception this book will help clear up. It really can happen to us all. With the tools and information given to you in this book, you will realize there is in fact a lot you can do yourself. The book will also show, you do not need to be an 'IT Expert' to secure yourself and your business. Take the opportunity to read this book. It will be an eye opener."
H. Erik Inberg, Senior Technical Manager, Support & Projects
"This reassuring, practical and informative guide to coach and therapist cyber-security, focused on how to protect client data, is long overdue. Alexandra has a knack of presenting what could otherwise be a complicated diet of ideas in a wholly digestible format. In straightforward, encouraging language, she raises practitioner awareness of potential issues, improving competence and confidence in preventing fraud, promoting security online, carefully considering ethical practice and always looking for the best outcomes for both practitioner and client. Every coach and therapist needs to read this book."
Ruth Hughes, Course Director, Cambridge Coaching Certificate Programme
"Understanding the psychology behind cybersecurity, is to understand one of the biggest threats to the economical world as we know it today. As a cyber security professional, I have at first hand seen not only how well organised and imposing cyberattacks can be on enterprises and also how intimidating and debilitating it can be for people. One thing is the loss of money, the other and most important thing, is the impact it has on a human psyche, and how it can ruin lives, relationships and trust in the human race. Putting in place good cybersecurity is then the stepping stone for securing your practices and keeping clients safe."
Kim Ottobrøker, Compliance specialist, Danish utility sector
"Fraud and cybercrime are increasing problems, impacting all areas of society, and putting organizations as well as individuals at risk. Today, no one is safe, and anyone can become a target of criminals operating on a global scale. In this highly relevant book on Cybersecurity, Alexandra J.S Fouracres, shares her extensive knowledge about the subject with the reader and gives a thorough introduction to the concepts and how criminals operate. This book is highly recommended, as it provides the reader with the necessary tools and knowledge needed to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and cybercrime."
Kristian E. Stephansen, Card Fraud Prevention Expert