In an unfortunate event that health records are stolen you need there a number of serious outcomes that could impact you financially and legally. There is potential for identity theft occurring, fraudulent claims to be filed or loan applications could be submitted in your name.
There are many different actors that are eager to get hold of as much private information as possible so they can carry out crimes like this. It is for this reason that you need to be vigilant at all times when it comes to protecting your private information. There are a number of things that you should always remain conscious of.
Carefully manage what data you share with all websites and online platforms. You can choose what cookies you share with every platform you use. This is important as cookies track your online behavior and anyone that gets hold of them could easily build a profile of you to conduct phishing campaigns or use your identity to commit further fraud.
Legally, you must be informed of who your personal data can be shared with or sold to so you can request that the website operators provide you with a list of all outlets that they are sharing data with.
You could also opt to browse in private or incognito mode to automatically delete cookies when you shut down your browser. Ad blocking software is also a good idea as it will prevent adverts that are loaded with tracking cookies from appearing as you browse.
Once you have your browser options in place you should look to secure the devices that you use for online activity. Make sure that you edit permissions on every app or software that you use so that you have the most stringent settings possible in place. Be wary of how much you are sharing with fitness or health trackers. If you do not need to share anything then you should not do this.
Strong passwords are vital. Put in place a strong password made up of numbers and characters. Never share your password and if you do have to let someone know your password then make sure you change immediately after they finish using it. And don’t expect what’s on your work computer to be kept private. Employers can generally monitor what you do during work hours and on work devices.
In the same that cookies can build a profile of you, public information that is shared on social media platforms can allow the same. Make sure that your profile is open and only people that you know can see your information. It is wise to consider setting up groups of different friends/contacts so that you can configure settings differently in relation to privacy and what they can see.
When you are sent a statement from your health insurance provider, read it carefully to make sure that there are no treatments or claims present that you know nothing about. If someone obtains your personal data then they may use it to fraudulently apply for a range of different things. If you identify anything like this then contact your provider immediately so they can rectify the situation.