Protecting Your Privacy: Psychological Screening and Self-Tests on the Internet

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Did you know that most psychological testing providers on the web collect test information about you for ‘research purposes’? By contrast, we guarantee that your quiz answers will only be processed by your own web browser and will never be transmitted to our server. We therefore do not retain any individual information about your test answers. This page explains both how our tests work, and some simple things you can check before taking tests on any site.

How We Protect Your Privacy

This site does not retain any information about the answers you provide to screening tests or other quizzes provided on this site.

All our tests are scored by your own computer, using javascript code that is loaded by your web browser along with the page that contains the quiz you are taking. Unlike quizzes on many other sites that make use of CGI or ASP technology for scoring quizzes, our method means that your individual answers are never even transmitted to this site.

As far as we are aware, this is the only site on the web that can make you that guarantee.

Once the javascript has computed your test results, it requests a page from our site to describe the results for the relevant score range. This page request is the only interaction between your individual test results and this site. In accordance with our privacy policy (“Site Privacy Policy”), we use aggregate data about which pages of the whole overall site site have been visited for site development purposes, but individual users are not identified in these aggregate data.

About Our Facebook App Privacy

For quizzes which we provide via Facebook apps, we’ve taken careful steps to mitigate Facebook’s penchant for sharing personal data. Specifically, when using our Facebook apps, you will not be asked to share your personal information with the app.

Your quiz answers will be scored in the same way they are on CounsellingResource.com itself — right in your own web browser, using JavaScript. No answers will be transmitted to this site or to Facebook, and no information about you or the fact you have tried the quiz will be stored by this site.

Things to Check Before Taking a Psychological Self-Test

Unlike CounsellingResource.com, other sites do not normally guarantee you in advance that your quiz results won’t be retained or otherwise processed by the site itself. So, before submitting your personal information to any website offering a free psychological self-test or other screening test, here are some things you can check to help ensure your privacy is being respected:

Does the site have a stated privacy policy?
If the site does not even mention how it uses your personal details, your privacy is probably not a high priority for the site owner.
Does the quiz ask for demographic information, such as your gender, age, or country of origin?
The results of most psychological screening tests do not depend explicitly on these demographic factors; a site which requests them may be collecting data for a research project. If a site collects data about you for research purposes, it should explain how your data will be treated.
Does the quiz appear on a page with a file extension of .cgi, .php, .asp, or other extension indicating a server-side scripting technology? Do your test results appear on such a page?
If the quiz appears on a page using server-side scripting technology — and especially if the test results themselves are delivered by such a page — there is a much greater chance that your individual test answers are being stored on the website itself. (Note that it does not guarantee that they are, but it makes it much more likely.) The most common situation suggesting server-side scripting to handle test results is an ordinary (X)HTML page with a .htm or .html extension sending results via a page ending in .cgi. If you see your test results being delivered back to you via a .cgi-generated page, you can be almost 100% certain that your question answers have been transmitted back to the website for processing — and possibly for retention and other uses which may or may not have been disclosed to you.

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

Overseen by an international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe, CounsellingResource.com provides peer-reviewed mental health information you can trust. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. CounsellingResource.com is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation.

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