Medical records are the new frontier for hackers. When you’re in need of medical attention, your records can be used against you. The more information that is leaked about you, the easier it will be to steal your identity and take advantage of you financially or physically.
Protected Health Information (PHI)
The HIPAA privacy rule has strict rules for how to handle protected health information, or PHI. There are 18 specific identifiers that must be handled with certain safeguards and the law requires covered entities like hospitals keep track of all this data in order not only protect patient names but also ensure no one violates any laws by making unauthorized changes without permission from their legal guardian/keeper.
These identifiers include:
- Address (Including any information more localized than state)
- Any dates (except years) related to the individual, including birthdays, date of death, date of admission/discharge, etc.
- Telephone Number
- Fax Number
- Email address
- Social Security number
- Medical record number
- Health plan beneficiary number
- Account number
- Certificate/license number
- Vehicle identifiers, serial numbers, license plate numbers
- Device identifiers/serial numbers
- Web URLs
- IP address
- Biometric identifiers such as fingerprints or voiceprints
- Full-face photos
- Any other unique identifying numbers, characteristics or codes
How to Protect Your Medical Records
The first step to protecting yourself is ensuring that all of your devices are secure with strong passwords and antivirus software. After this, make sure to delete any sensitive data from these devices before they come into contact with other people on a daily basis. It’s also important to keep an up-to-date backup of any important files on external media like USB drives or CDs so if something does happen, you’ll still have copies available for yourself without having to rely on someone else
Medical records are a gold mine for fraudsters. They can be used to create fake IDs, apply for credit cards, and even open bank accounts in your name. But there’s good news: with the right safety measures in place, you can protect yourself against this type of fraud. Read on to learn about the steps you should take to ensure that your medical information stays out of thieves’ hands.
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4601 Telephone Rd Suite 104
Ventura, CA 93003