How confident are you that your health data is secure?
Protecting such personal information is crucial in light of several high-profile data breaches, such as the one in which as many as 145 million U.S. residents had their information hacked from Equifax Inc., which provides consumer credit scores. “Health care records are the keys to our identity castles,” says Rod Piechowski, senior director of health information systems at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a nonprofit based in Chicago dedicated to improving health through information and technology. Sensitive information like your Social Security number, prescriptions and records of treatment for chronic conditions like cancer or diabetes can be misused by hackers.
Use strong passwords and change them frequently.
Strong passwords and usernames are important tools to protect your health care data, says Avani Desai, principal and executive vice president of Schellman & Company, an independent security and privacy compliance assessor in Orlando, Florida.
“We welcome the ease and efficiency of being able to download results and see our medical records online,” she says. “However, it puts the onus on us to make sure we have strong authentication means in place. This entails strong usernames and passwords that are changed on a frequent basis and also a password that is not used often for other accounts that may not house personal health information.”
Try to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks.
Be wary of where and when you sign in to view your account, Desai advises. Using public computers and public Wi-Fi could put the security of your username in jeopardy and may put you at risk of having your health data intercepted.
“It’s always best to use your home computer or a secure mobile hot spot,” she says.
Read More: health.usnews.com
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