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Privacy policy

You can be sure your privacy will be respected on our site, because VirtualPsychology.com does not share your details with third parties and will not contact you without your permission.

VirtualPsychology.com is dedicated to safeguarding the privacy of site visitors, and our privacy policy is very simple. VirtualPsychology.com will not share individual information about you with any third party, and will not contact you without your permission. This commitment to confidentiality will be restricted or suspended only under direct legal requirement, and then only to the extent necessary to comply with the rule of law.

How We Use Information You Provide

Contact information which you provide when subscribing to our services, and data which you provide in connection with your use of specific service, will be used only in connection with the normal operation of the related site services. All services will include links to enable you to update your information and preferences.

Site visitors and subscription users  providing personal details to this website will not be contacted by us unless they have explicitly given their permission that we may do so, or unless they have implicitly given their permission by writing to us with feedback, suggestions, questions or comments. (Note that we may operate automatic reply systems -- such as out-of-office notifies, anti-spam verification systems, and the like -- which result in replies automatically being sent in response to certain email messages.) Except in the unlikely event that we are required to do so due to legal considerations, personal details will never be shared with any third party without permission.

Site users providing information to the VirtualPsychology.com explicitly grant permission for that information to be saved on their secured area on our servers.

Data Security

Information transmitted across the Internet relies on an international standard called the Internet Protocol (or 'IP') in order to arrive at its destination. This standard requires each machine transmitting information to have a unique address called an IP address. This allows a packet of information to be routed to the correct machine much like a street address and postcode allow a letter to be delivered to the correct house. IP addresses are usually assigned dynamically by an individual user's Internet Service Provider at the time they connect to the internet, and IP addresses of visitors are automatically logged by web hosting providers. Often other technical details, such as a visitor's operating system and browser type are also logged by web hosting providers. (Note that all this applies to the Internet as a whole, not just to individual sites.) VirtualPsychology.com reviews these records collected by our web server for statistical purposes. However, individual users are not identified by these data.

At VirtualPsychology.com any user or visitor information stored locally (including all emails, once they have been received) is kept on a highly secure disk partition encrypted with 128-bit AES. AES stands for 'Advanced Encryption Standard' and is the successor to the older DES, or 'Data Encryption Standard'; DES and its successor AES are widely used by the US and other national governments as well as throughout the banking industry.

As of this writing, cryptographic researchers believe that 128-bit encryption, sometimes called 'strong encryption', will be safe from direct attack indefinitely. For all practical purposes, strong encryption is impervious, and no instances have ever been reported of AES being defeated. The high-profile cases reported in the news of banks revealing customer information or hackers acquiring it have all involved the accidental exposure of unencrypted data, not data with encryption that was broken. This is why the US government, until very recently, classified strong encryption as a immune and regulated its export in the same way as military hardware: it renders encrypted data inaccessible even to national governments.  Email communications can be protected using similar standard of strong encryption technology.

Privacy at the User End

Site visitors should be aware of a number of factors which could impact privacy from their end of the network and which are therefore beyond the control of VirtualPsychology.com. Roughly, these factors fall into two categories. First are those which result from sharing a computer with another user. For example, the default behavior of modern browsers typically keeps a history of the most recently visited sites. If this feature is not switched off or adjusted to keep a very minimal history, another user could identify many of the most recently visited sites by inspecting this log. Similarly, another user might access email records kept on a shared computer, in some cases even if those two users login to a shared machine with different usernames.

The second category of factors which can impact user privacy are those which result from visiting via an employer-operated network. Many employers log traffic to and from their networks, and virtually all large employers keep records of employee emails which pass through their servers. In the latter case, this means that copies of emails may be kept even after they have been deleted from an individual user's machine. Encrypting emails can secure their content, but it cannot make them disappear.

 

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