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How to Safeguard Your Health Information in a Digital Age

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Along with every other industry, health care has been transformed by digital technology. Both at home and in healthcare facilities, more and more information is stored and managed electronically. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a paper chart in many healthcare settings. As personal information moves to a digital format, however, you are right to wonder if your personal health information is as secure as it once was.

Why do thieves want your personal health information?

Personal health information (PHI) includes much more than your medical history. If your PHI gets into the hands of hackers, they will have access to your credit cards and financial information, personal data, a list of family members, your employment history and much more. Experts believe that this information could be worth up to $1,000 to the right buyer.

How to protect your digital health information

Fortunately, your security is in your hands. You don’t even have to be a computer expert to protect your PHI from hackers and other criminals. These steps will keep your personal information secure.

1. Protect your passwords
Your passwords are your first line of defense against identity theft. If criminals are unable to break your passwords, they will usually move on to an easier target. To keep your private information secure, you should:

  • Use a strong password
    Your password should be impossible to guess. Never use your name, the name of a loved one, or anything else that would be common knowledge. In addition, a strong password includes a combination of letters, numbers and symbols instead of a simple word or phrase.
  • Never share your passwords or write them down
    By nature, a password that is difficult to crack may be difficult to remember, but you should resist the temptation to share them with others or to write them down where they may be seen by others. If not, you could expose yourself to fraud.

2. Be careful with mobile apps
Information stored by your healthcare provider is generally very secure. Your personal communication, however, is not always so closely guarded. If you use an electronic app, such as those on a smartphone, to send messages and private information to others, you may be at risk. Not all messaging apps provide the same level of security and privacy, so be cautious when sending sensitive or private information (even when communicating with someone you trust). Before using a specific program to send personal data, read its terms of service and some customer reviews to make sure it is secure.

3. Use antivirus software
Whether you use a phone, personal computer or other electronic devices to communicate and store your PHI, you should install an antivirus software immediately. In fact, installing an antivirus program should be your first step every time you get a new electronic device. There are many free options available, and most allow you to pay for extra security if you need it. Once you have high-quality security software and strong passwords protecting your PHI, it will be very difficult for criminals to access your information.

Are you looking for professionals who can provide guidance and home care-solutions?

At Fedelta Home Care, we put our clients’ privacy, safety and health above all else. Our dedicated home care professionals can provide the guidance and practical assistance you and your loved ones need to thrive. To learn more about our part-time and live-in home care services in the Puget Sound region, contact us today for a free consultation.

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