7 Safety Tips for Digitally Storing Your Personal Health Records

7 Safety Tips for Digitally Storing Your Personal Health Records

Hackers will attack you any chance they get. You can never be too safe when it comes to keeping your personal health records secure.

Documents containing every bit of information about you will magnify “ordinary” security threats. It’s tragic enough that a hacker could leak through your private storage and steal your birthdate. They also might find your credit card, vehicle identification number, address, or other info just from breaking into your health records.

You need to protect your health records so hackers don’t steal your bank account information either. However, it’s more than that. They can impersonate your entire identity–even learn how to communicate with others based on your history–to hide who they really are. Make sure you protect yourself in any way you can.

1. Use an Encrypted Storage System

There are different types of security you can use. For instance, the University of Chicago recommends at least a 128-bit symmetric encryption. They also advise a minimum of 2048 bits for asymmetric encryption.

The SSL certificate of a storage system recommended is 2048 bits. Don’t mess around with websites less secure than this if you want to keep your health records confidential.

2. Add Two-Layer Authentication

One layer of authentication isn’t enough anymore. If you already have a password that you use to sign in, you must require single-sign verification too. For example, you can log in and request a code to be sent to your phone number. Otherwise, you can install an authentication app on one or more of your devices.

3. Trust Who You Share Documents With

You may experience security holes without realizing it when transferring health records online. Beware of using new medical services and stay with whom you can trust. Require references or verification of security before proceeding with storage providers you have never heard of.

4. Update your Storage Software

It doesn’t matter how secure your online or offline storage is. The company that offers it may also have the most pristine reputation in the world. However, it won’t do you much good to not update it.

Neglecting updates is the fastest way to open yourself up to security vulnerabilities. Don’t procrastinate on this important task.

Along with that, make sure you update your security software. Otherwise, you may receive outdated information about viruses that could attack you. To stay ahead of hackers, use the latest and best software you can find for enhanced cyberattack protection.

5. Don’t Download Unknown Attachments

Don’t download attachments that come from an unknown source. Watch out for unknown senders masquerading as your healthcare provider or a hospital too. Double-check the email sender before you even open that email.

Whenever possible, arrange in advance with the holder of your health records. For instance, you perhaps can talk to them on the phone. While you’re on the line, have them send the information you need immediately.

By the way, beware that most public emails are not encrypted. Seek out more secure services, such as what a paid email hosting company can provide, to stay safe.

6. Use Secure Backup Systems

If you store items on your device, put them into a password-protected vault. Do this even if you do have a lock on your phone.

Think of protection similar to the Bitlocker on Windows, only find out what is compatible with your device. If you’re not sure what security you need to keep your backups hidden, perhaps consult your mobile device carrier or computer operating system provider for recommendations.

7. Log Out Before Sharing Your Device

Some healthcare websites do time out after about 15 minutes for safety reasons. Others might require you to log back in whenever you try to access a new page. Even then, it’s best to log out of all private websites before sharing your device with another person.

Consider setting up alternate users for other people in your household. Then, only allow them to certain parts of your computer and select places online. Restrict their permissions, so they can’t access your financial information as a device administrator either.