Whenever you are in a profession that deals with highly confidential subject matter, you are going to be just as highly vulnerable to leaks and hacks. Sometimes, this is nefarious in nature as there are those out there who would like to be privy to the ‘secret’ details in someone else’s life and sometimes those leaks are just for the sheer fun of it by a sick mind. Anyone in the field of social work or mental health will be vulnerable to these kinds of attacks because of the very nature of what it is they do. They deal with the thoughts and emotions of other human beings who may have been victimized in the past. For this reason, the following professions should take extra precautions to guard any data entered or stored on their computers.
First – A Bit of Cyber Security Advice
Before talking about a few of the professions most vulnerable to cyber hacks, it might be wise to give a bit of advice on how to keep your computers as secure as possible. It is suggested that you password protect any devices you will be using in the field and make sure those passwords are of the highest levels. Multi-character long passwords are best so anyone gains access to your laptop or iPad, they will not be able to see any files you’ve saved locally.
Social Workers Are Prime Targets
Anyone employed in the field of social work will be privy to some of the most personal information their clients are willing to share. As a result, it is an ethical and legal obligation of the social worker to keep that information strictly confidential. What happens in the case of a county social worker, for example, who is already working in the field but pursuing a masters in social work online? He or she will undoubtedly be taking that ever-present laptop wherever they go and if there are any files on it that could damage the well being of a client, keeping it unsecured is a breach of professional conduct.
CPS Workers Who Deal with Abused Children
Although a branch of social work, a CPS worker may have obtained that M.S.W. online and, as a result, is now a field agent within the department. This type of social worker will typically be out investigating reports of child abuse and how better to document each visit than a mobile device that can take evidentiary photos and store text files of notes involving what that caseworker observed on the visit? Again, cyber security is an absolute must when working in the field.
Anyone can gain access to that device and what if it is an estranged spouse trying to learn where the mother and children are being kept in a safe facility? You never know who would want to find those abused children or battered women, so cyber security is essential. Any transmissions to your database from your mobile device may be hacked if you don’t have great security on deck. Whether working in the field or from the office, any profession that deals with the mental or emotional well-being of their clients will be a prime target for being hacked and are, indeed, ethically responsible for ensuring confidentiality. Stay secure with the latest software, protecting your clients and yourself at the very same time.
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