Protecting Sensitive Data in Healthcare

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Protecting sensitive personal information in the healthcare industry is crucial to maintain patient trust and comply with privacy regulations.

Here’s a checklist to help you prevent data breaches and other security incidents.


Password Security Measures

  • Set up strong, complex passwords of at least 12 characters.
  • Include uppercase and lowercase letters, numeric and special characters.
  • Make use of a password manager application to manage the above.

Password Reuse and Sharing

  • Never use the same password more than once.
  • Avoid using the same password across different accounts.

Monitoring Application Activity

Where offered, review your application’s activity log for any unusual behavior.


Account Management

Be diligent about quickly deleting or deactivating accounts of departed users.


Antivirus and Malware Protection

  • Install antivirus malware software.
  • Keep it updated with the latest detection systems.
  • Set up automatic routine scans.

Software and Application Updates

  • Enable automatic security updates from software providers.
  • Apply updates promptly for enhanced security.

Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

  • Set up and enable MFA for user validation and verification.
  • Refer to these general instructions on how to enable MFA for many popular consumer applications.

Email Account Protection

  • Consider that most web applications provide password reset links to your email address on record. Protect your email account as a critical asset.
  • Ensure you use a strong password and MFA.

Phishing Awareness

  • Be VERY cautious before interacting with email that encourages you to click links or open attachments.
  • These may subject your computer to malware or steal your login credentials.

Email Encryption

  • Always consider the sensitivity of content in email as well as the necessity of what is included.
  • Sensitive personal information like PHI and PII should only be included in email if an email encryption or secure email messaging application is available for use.
  • There are many on the market. Some examples are Proofpoint, Virtru, Paubox, Avanan and Zix.

Public Wi-Fi

  • Where possible, avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi access points (e.g., hotels, coffee shops, airports).
  • Where public Wi-Fi is needed, connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) before using sensitive applications or websites on your computer or mobile device.

Remember, data protection is an ongoing effort. Regularly reassess your security measures, stay informed about emerging threats, and adapt your strategies accordingly to stay ahead of cybercriminals and protect your practice’s sensitive data.

What Is Multifactor Authentication & Why Is It an Important Security Feature in Healthcare?


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