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Today’s technology has influenced many aspects of our lives, and the way we deal with health disorders and issues is no different. BetterHelp is the platform that has turned this opportunity into a reality for many individuals. And while it is still one of the largest online counseling platforms out there, the question always remains valid – is it confidential?
BetterHelp is highly confidential and hires only state-certified counselors. It boasts A-grade server facilities and bank-grade messages with 256-Bit Encryption to protect all communication types. Also, all databases are scrambled and encrypted to prevent phishing, and BetterHelp is HIPPA compliant.
So, can you trust BetterHelp and the counselors on this platform when you are speaking about such important subjects? Let’s find out.
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What Is BetterHelp?
BetterHelp is a platform that has revolutionized the way people seek and find counseling and therapist’ help. In 2013, the platform was founded and had always been in the lead when it comes down to finding online help. However, this brand has also been the one to make way for future apps and platforms.
Today, over 11,000 licensed professionals with years of experience in their specific field are available on the platform, leading over 1,000,000 people to start using it in the past years.
The platform has helped professionals and individuals rethink what counseling is and created a new way to build valuable connections between patients and therapists.
Aside from the unparalleled accessibility, the platform is known for its ability to personalize services and increase everybody’s usability. You can also leverage the services offered in total privacy. And if you prefer, you can also subscribe to the platform anonymously.
However, just like in many other platforms, apps, and websites, the main concern is safety and confidentiality. However, since you will be touching upon very sensitive subjects, it is paramount that you can trust the platform.
While you might always have doubts about it, the company has implemented a system that allows them to provide you with the highest security level online. And, of course, you can trust the process through which the licensed professionals are selected and hired. We’ll have a look at this in more detail in the sections below.
You can find out more about the services offered in the video below:
What Is a Therapist Session on BetterHelp Like?
BetterHelp is known to be the leader in online therapy sessions. Therefore, while they are different, there are noticeable similarities between traditional therapy sessions and online ones. However, the second is enhanced by increased availability and accessibility.
Through online sessions, patients can contact and consult with their counselor whenever they feel like they need help. The communication will happen through messages, calls, and online video conference calls, all through the app for increased security.
The benefits of this system are endless. Indeed, people will feel more comfortable speaking about their issues with a counselor in a place where they feel more comfortable. Moreover, since the app does match you with the best counselor for your needs and background, you won’t necessarily have to spend precious time on Google trying to find the best one in town.
Online therapy is also relatively cheaper than in-person sessions, and the fact that you won’t have to wait months or weeks to get an in-person appointment with your therapist finally has been playing in favor of the platform so far.
Moreover, thanks to the different specializations and backgrounds of the different counselors on the platform, you can find the perfect match for your needs and personality.
However, with so many benefits, it is reasonable to doubt this platform’s trustworthiness. Of course, BetterHelp claims to be one of the safest, most privacy-centered companies out there. But what do they do to make this happen? Below is what you will be able to count on when using this platform.
Is BetterHelp Safe and Confidential?
BetterHelp is one of the first and safest platforms for online counseling. All the specifics about the systems employed are publicly accessible on their website. And you will find that these covers both the platform and the counselors selected.
As you might remember, the company has been at the center of certain controversies involving YouTube influencers Philip DeFranco and Boogie2988 in 2018. While these did not directly concern the company’s level of safety and privacy, they undoubtedly cast a shadow over BetterHelp.
Nonetheless, since then, the company has been continuously evolving, implementing innovative, bank-grade systems to protect your data.
At the same time, Betterhelp only hires certified, licensed professionals with years of proven experience in their specialization. So, you can count on both the system’s and the person’s confidentiality.
BetterHelp Confidentiality Policy
It is fair to say that BetterHelp had not held back when it came down to picking the most efficient, bullet-proof privacy systems on the market.
Besides technological systems, BetterHelp’s confidentiality net extends to hiring licensed professionals and using state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructures.
Especially during the past few years, each country and state has introduced a series of rules and regulations designed to protect each consumer’s data and privacy. However, we also know that these systems are not always safe enough to prevent phishing attacks or scams.
That is why BetterHelp has gone much further than just implementing simple safety measures. Instead, it has created a unique encryption system and safety measures designed to keep any attacker away. Due to its complexity and attention to detail, this goes much beyond the basic government requirements.
BetterHelp was created to provide a safe and comfortable environment that everybody could access and get instantaneous access to professionals’ knowledge. Not ensuring that all the systems are efficient would mean decreasing the user’s comfort and confidence.
A few aspects included in BetterHelp’s policy can help you better understand the system behind BetterHelp.
- State and federal laws protect each conversation between you and your counselor. This is because all of the professionals on this platform are certified and licensed professionals.
- Since BetterHelp does not work with any employer or even insurance companies, you won’t incur the risk of seeing your data shared with a third party.
- If you wish to eliminate messages you have exchanged with your therapist, you can do so by clicking on the shred button, which is located by each message. This will delete the messages and make them disappear from your dashboard or chat.
- Each message that you exchange with your counselor is encrypted with 256-bit Encryption, which is considered banking-rate for how secure it is.
- Instead, regarding our servers, the facilities that house that is A Grade, which means that they conform with the highest security and privacy matters.
- The unique browsing encryption system (SSL) is one of the most advanced globally and can help you protect any of the information exchanged with your counselor.
- Betterhelp also includes a very advanced system by which, if the servers and databases get accessed by a hacker, they become useless. This encryption and scrambling system is one of the most secure and refined safety systems out there.
- BetterHelp will ask for your explicit consent about sharing any of your data with a third party. However, this choice is not usually pushed upon you. Instead, you can choose between sharing your data with a third party by requesting an appropriate form to fill in and hand it to your counselor.
These are only the main aspects that make BetterHelp systems one of the safest out there.
Indeed, it is normal to have reservations on such an innovative platform. However, not one aspect or detail of the elaborated safety net of BetterHelp is left to chance. This is an essential aspect of looking at finding yourself safe and comfortable when consulting your therapist.
Staying Anonymous on BetterHelp
If you still have reservations and are unsure how you feel about revealing your identity and issues online, BetterHelp gives you the chance to remain entirely anonymous.
This is an excellent solution for those who are still not comfortable with trusting the system. And of course, for individuals struggling with related behavioral issues, this can be an excellent way to open up without having to feel threatened or exposed.
Once you have created your account, you can select your name and surname. However, at no point, better help will require any of your information as mandatory, so you can pick how much you want to share.
Of course, if you prefer to use a fake identity but still get the benefits out of a one-to-one consultation lesson, this might be the option for you.
Online vs. In-Person: Which Session Is Safer?
There are reasons to believe that many platforms and sites are not particularly safe when it comes to keeping and safeguarding important information. However, as we have seen, BetterHelp goes way beyond the governments’ basic requirements, creating a layer of protection that can give hard times to even the most experienced hackers.
However, if you have never been worried about this issue when visiting your counselor’s office and undertaking a therapy session in-person, there’s no need to start now.
Indeed, it is likely for your counselor or assistant to have all of your data, information, medical information, and therapy notes stored on their computers and servers. If your counselor is not part of a big company, it is not likely for his office to have a state-of-the-art security system like the one we have seen BetterHelp using.
Indeed, while the type of information you share is similar, there is a higher risk for your data to be stolen if stored on your counselor’s computer. In-person counseling also does not offer you the option to remain anonymous throughout the whole process. This can be an extremely valuable aspect if you are dealing with anxiety or social anxiety.
And, if you are worried about trusting the counselors you will hire, read more about the professionals you will be able to find on BetterHelp below.
Is It Safe to Speak to the Counselors on BetterHelp?
If you would like to speak comfortably in front of your counselor, you can hope to do the same with a counselor at Betterhelp. And, if you are worried about their confidentiality, you should keep in mind that these are experienced, fully-licensed professionals that have to respond to the local and federal law.
Betterhelp has stringent requirements when it comes down to hiring the best professionals in each field.
- A license
- Must be in good standing
- All documentation needed to prove their licensure
- Proof of identity
- References from others that have worked with them
Once BetterHelp has received all this information from the therapist, they will start a cross-checking process to confirm the counselor’s identity, study, and field of expertise.
Those professionals who cover the counselor position can be qualified:
- Psychologists (PhD/PsyD)
- Marriage and family therapists (LMFT)
- Clinical social workers (LCSW/LMSW)
- Licensed Counselors. (LPC)
These professional figures hold a doctorate, and they must have logged either three years or 2,0000 hours of experience in the field.
After the first screening, the candidates will have to go through a test to work at BetterHelp. This often includes a case study that is then reviewed through video calls. Today, only 15% of applicants make it and start working as a counselor in BetterHelp.
Since the hiring process can be extremely challenging, only the best candidates make it through. Therefore, you can be sure that these counselors are genuinely committed and prepared for the job, even if they are doing so online.
Moreover, it would be best if you always kept in mind that licensed professionals always have to respond to local and state law. Therefore, you can be sure to have the same confidentiality level as them as the one you would experience in your therapist’s office.
The Main Confidentiality Feature of Betterhelp
Here is what makes the confidentiality and safety system of BetterHelp unique in its kind.
BetterHelp Is a HIPAA Compliant Service
A service that is compliant to HIPAA or Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is deemed developed enough to offer the highest level of protection to all data and information in a given system.
Health companies and services have to introduce a way to shield their customers’ Protected Health Information (PHI) from phishing and hacker attacks. A company that is compliant with such standards allows you to know that you and your data are in safe hands.
A-Grade Server Facility Guaranteed
Servers or data centers are where all of your data and information is stored. Depending on the type of server, your data might be in danger or not. Since these services can still be reasonably pricey, you are more likely to find high-quality ones in larger companies rather than small ones.
With BetterHelp, you can be sure to benefit from A-grade facilities, which are the best worldwide. Of course, maintenance and updates are regularly available too.
A+ Rated Security Protocol
A security protocol is an overall strategy conducted by the company. It includes all the many systems used by a company to strengthen its firewall and keep hackers’ attacks out.
An A+ rating in SSLLabs is an indication that you have followed all the procedures necessary to have the most secure system in place. It is usually the strong IT department’s job to ensure the configuration and authentication systems work reliably.
Uses a Browsing Encryption System (SSL)
Now that the place where the data is processed and stored is secure, Betterhelp has then looked into how to make your connection secure. Indeed, your data might be stolen through other systems and video calls apps.
However, when it comes down to working with BetterHelp, you will find a strong SSL or Secure Sockets Layer. These act by creating an encrypted connection through which you can navigate without having to worry about your data being stolen as you communicate with your therapist. And of course, this can help you feel more comfortable and serene during the session.
Messages Encrypted With a 256-Bit Encryption.
One of the most exclusive offers of Betterhelp is that it allows you to have a direct communication channel with your therapist. Therefore, if you feel in a moment in which waiting for the next session is not a viable option, you might opt to send her or him a message.
Through messaging, you can find all the support you need throughout the day. However, it becomes paramount for this communication channel to be as safe as the other methods. That is why BetterHelp has introduced a new, banking-grade 256-Bit Encryption.
BetterHelp is the leading platform for online therapy counseling and therapy sessions. Being one of the first lights to shine in its field, BetterHelp had the time and the resources to become one of the safest and most comfortable platforms.
Making the switch from in-person sessions might be challenging, but you can rest assured that your data and information is safe when stored on this company’s servers. In terms of professionals, all therapists are licensed and reporting to State and Federal law.
You can also opt to remain anonymous throughout the whole process.
- The Chicago School of Professional Psychology: How does online counseling work?
- YouTube: Philip DeFranco
- YouTube: Boogie2988
- BetterHelp: Counselor Jobs
- HIPaa Journal: HIPAA Compliance Checklist
- Namecheap: How do I get A+ rating in SSLLabs?
- Digicert: What is an SSL certificate?
- Techopedia: 256-Bit Encryption