Online privacy for psychologists

Machin, Tanya ORCID: and Brownlow, Charlotte (2018) Online privacy for psychologists. In: Australian Psychological Society Congress 2018, 27-30 Sep 2018, Sydney, Australia.

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The numbers of people using social media are growing at exponential rates, with social networking sites (SNS) used to build and maintain both professional and personal relationships. Social networking sites can incorporate personal sites such as Facebook or online dating sites and professional sites including LinkedIn or blogs. While there are many benefits to using SNS, there can be unintended outcomes such as threats to a person’s privacy or difficulties in managing public and private connections. Protection of personal details in online spaces is becoming more of an issue with some earlier research indicating that many types of professionals have experienced stalking behaviours from clients and students. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore the understandings and actions that psychologists have regarding online privacy and their use of SNS. We interviewed 11 psychologists (provisional registered, generally registered, and clinically endorsed psychologists) to understand more about their social media use and their actions surrounding online privacy. Interviews were concluded once data saturation was reached and then analysed using thematic analysis. Thematic analysis identified that while some psychologists take multiple measures to protect their privacy, others are reliant on other people, such as family members, for information and help in maintaining their privacy, with navigation through the online professional and personal spaces experienced as complex and challenging. However, what is clear is that psychologists seek to maintain their personal privacy in certain online spaces (i.e. Facebook), while maintaining openness on professional sites (i.e., LinkedIn). The findings from this research has implications in the training of psychologists while also questioning the ethical responsibilities that psychologists have to their clients in online spaces.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2019 06:21
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 03:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology; privacy; social media
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520599 Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified

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