With technology becoming a key tool in many practices, patient data is being stored digitally more and more. It’s important to keep your medical information safe, which can be increasingly difficult to do in the digital age we live in. Here are three ways you can help keep your online medical data protected online.
Since most of your medical information will be stored and handled by your doctors, it’s very possible your data might be in danger and you wouldn’t even know it. While not always intentional, medical fraud through the mishandling of patient data isn’t as uncommon as most people would expect. Do your research when switching to a new doctor, check to see if there were any recent data breaches that made headlines or any medical fraud cases. Doctors should protect your confidential information, and if they fail to maintain a proper doctor-patient relationship, it is probably time for a new doctor.
Be Wary of Apps
Medical apps can seem to be very helpful at a glance in keeping track of your medical information, but with the large number of apps to choose from it can be difficult to know what’s safe to use. There’s a surprising lack of regulation regarding what apps are allowed to do in terms of data collection, especially when it comes to the Android platform. Always read through the terms and conditions, and see what exactly the app requests permission to access. Many free apps purely exist to leech your information for marketing and sales purposes, and not just your medical information either. Apps offering medical advice can also be an issue, as many straight-up take advantage of the user and provide some serious misinformation.
Protect Your Internet
With appointment scheduling, record requests, and many other services transitioning to online availability, ensuring your internet and computer remain spyware-free is another way you can protect your medical records. At a minimum, you’ll want both a strong antivirus software as well as malware protection software on your computer, since these will generally prevent attacks on your computer and your data. You’ll also want to make sure that your web browser is always kept up to date, and use a browser known for its security. Newer versions of web browsers have fixes for security loopholes that malicious software can take advantage of.
By keeping these things in mind, you can help keep your private medical data safe, as well as other personal data. While these tips are specifically geared towards protecting your medical data, they can be applied to your personal data in general as well.
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