5 Internet Security Tips for Your Practice

It should come as no surprise that digital theft has surpassed physical theft as the most common form of fraud. And, now you not only have to worry about your practice’s security, but you also have to be concerned about protecting the privacy of patient’s health information per HIPAA regulations. With that, safeguarding your practice’s Internet connection has become even more critical.  

While installing anti-virus software is important, it’s not an end-all-be-all for computer security. Here are the top five security concerns your practice should address immediately:

1. Secure Your Wi-Fi Network – When you first set up your Internet service, your provider likely gave you a password protected router. Most service providers, such as Verizon, paste the password directly on the router, making it easy for anyone to connect to your network. It is best to change this default password to something only you and your staff know, and be sure not to share the password with non-employees.

If you wish to offer free WI-FI in your practice, you should setup a separate router for free Internet access.

2. Make Your Passwords Impossible – Your passwords should contain a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and at least one symbol.  Simple passwords can be hacked in seconds, while more complex passwords could take hackers months, even years, to solve. 

It’s also a good idea to have employees change their passwords about every 6 to 8 weeks.

3. Backup Your Information – Any documents concerning the day-to-day functioning of your practice should be backed up and stored on a secure server or in the cloud. This will prevent your practice from being effected should a virus ever destroy your computer.

4. Control Computer Access Among Employees – Set up separate user accounts for each employee, requiring each individual to log in the computer they intend to use. This will allow you to track employee activities and limit access to documents not pertinent to them.

Also, make sure employees log out of their computers when leaving the office to prevent an unauthorized user from accessing your files.

5. Limit Authority to Install New Software – Along with controlling access, be sure to set limitations that prevent employees from installing new software. Many viruses and spyware are transferred to a computer via a download or software installation. Limiting controls can prevent your employees from mistakenly downloading malware.

If your practice isn’t making an effort to protect your information, you could be headed for a digital meltdown. Protect the future of your practice by implementing these simple security measures.

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