by Ronald Mah
for "Learning" in
by Ronald Mah
on Children's Behavior,
Discipline, and Child
for Parents, Teachers, Educators, and Human Services Professionals
Workshops, Articles, & Consultation,
and Limitations of Online Communication and Encrypted E-mail*
online communication is not confidential
e-mail and other online communication is vulnerable to hackers
Normal e-mail parsed by
Information Technology (IT) corporations and government for collection and
sales of personal and business information
information/records and communication vulnerable to unsanctioned access by
internal personnel of IT corporations
Encrypted e-mail is cumbersome
to set up and limited in utility
PrivateTree technology is used in the practice of Ronald Mah, M.A., Ph.D.
for Users of Online Communication
use of ANY e-mail online for communication between users, including
professional and client is NOT confidential communication. This
includes those hosted by popular free services such as gmail.com (Google),
Yahoo, and so forth.
conferencing including services such as Skype or FaceTime used by
professionals for online consultation, counseling, or therapy is NOT
communication has transitioned largely to the digital data network.
Thus, fax communication is no longer secure as when faxes were
connected using copper-to-copper wires.
Using fax, unless both ends are encrypted fax machines, is NOT
Parsing of Information by IT Companies
e-mail messages are sent in open from through the data network
comprising of many business entities.
The messages are parsed into multiple parts and transmitted
separately to as-available servers all over the Internet.
This happens repeatedly until the pieces of information are
gathered again in the e-mail endpoint servers that finally delivers
the message to the recipient's inbox.
Every step of transmission and re-transmission is vulnerable to
being accessed by a multitude of entities, not to mention individual
hackers. Although, these
entities may include well-known information technology corporations,
none of these business entities are part of the legal “business
associates” ecosystem, for example required by HIPAA to sign a
contract stipulating confidential practices for handling information. Each
corporation run their own business practices and security/backup
such open methods described, information technology businesses now
systematically analyze and collect personal and business information
from e-mail and other online communication such as social media for
sale to interested companies for marketing and other purposes.
Domestic and foreign governmental programs may also analyze
and collect information for various purposes.
Hypothetically, frequent or periodic e-mail communication (even
limited to scheduling) between a client and professional such as a
psychotherapist known to specialize in sexual addiction therapy may be
collected and analyzed for inferences about the client and/or the
Vulnerabilities Within IT Companies
technology businesses also may have internal vulnerabilities within
their infrastructure that business personnel may use to access and
collect confidential information.
In other words, while information technology business may be
arguably secure from outside hacking, information can be pirated by
company employees. "The
ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security) survey confirmed what
information security experts have been saying for years: The single
greatest threat to corporate intellectual property is trusted
insiders--current and former employees, temps, onsite contractors,
consultants, partners and suppliers. (Denning, D. E., Who's
Stealing Your Information?
"…in a …survey of 2,000 employees, 23 percent
admitted to having accessed or taken confidential data from their
workplace, with one in ten stating that they do it regularly," (Employees
admit to accessing or stealing private company information,
Help Net Security, .
Such information breaches
may be then used for private use or possibly for illicit activity.
more technologically sophisticated techniques, documents can be
downloaded onto external hard drives and thumb drives or using e-mail
by a staff person such as an engineer with access to company
information (Alston, J., Law360, Engineer
Admits To Stealing Secrets From Becton, Bard,
percent of respondents downloaded information onto a CD or DVD,
percent onto a USB drive and 38 percent sent attachments to a personal
percent of respondents took data without an employer’s permission.
percent of respondents said their employers did not perform an audit or
review of paper or electronic documents before the respondent left his/her
percent of respondents had access to their employer’s computer system or
network after their departure from the company.
Than Half of Ex-Employees Admit to Stealing Company Data According to New
other reports on internal security breaches of confidential
Google Engineer Tried to Steal Your Information,
engineers knew for TWO YEARS that the company's Street View cars were
stealing emails and passwords via wi-fi,
In Cuffs: When Employees Steal Patient Records
employees and data theft
of Encrypted E-mail
available technology (aside from PrivateTree's innovative
encryption-secured technology) most often recommended- encrypted
e-mail is technologically challenging, burdensome or impractical.
It is also expensive for many or most individuals including
individual practitioners and small agencies, and also significantly
limited for utility in comparison to the technology offered by
e-mail using asymmetric encryption requires an individual to install a
security program (software) on his or her computer to establish a
"public key." When
another person with whom confidential communication is desired, then
can send a message using what is called a "public key" from
his or her computer. This
creates the specific identifying information and passwords.
Upon reception, the first individual uses a "private
key" to access the message. This
is only one-way confidential communication to the originator of the
public key. Symmetric
encryption or "single-key" or "private key
encryption" shares a single key between sender and receiver based
on an agreed shared password. This
process of collaboration and coordination creates only a one-to-one
confidential connection. The
process has to be repeated for each additional person the original
person wishes to connect confidentially with.
This creates significant pragmatic time-consuming coordination
burdens. For information
about encrypted e-mail visit the following sites:
Does Secure Email Work?,
Public Key Encryption Works
Does Email Encryption Work?
Technology Used in Ronald Mah's Practice
technology is designed so that PrivateTree engineers, staff, and other
personnel, as well as cloud server vendors, cannot access subscriber
communications remain encrypted within PrivateTree rendering them
nonsensical to all but the subscriber and invited individual in their
private room. This
encryption-secured design is a key reason for the U.S.
Patent Office conferring a patent to PrivateTree for this unique
technology. This provides efficient and easy to use online
communication between Ronald Mah and his clients without the high
vulnerability to others breaching the confidentiality of client
information. Using the client's email address, a message through
regular email will invite the client into a private confidential room
accessible only to Ronald Mah and the client. The client only
has to follow the link provided, choose a password, and the
confidential room is established. Separate confidential
communication rooms may be established to include relevant persons
such as other professionals and/or family members if deemed
appropriate. The PrivateTree rooms may be used for basic
communication for scheduling but also for enhancing client growth and