October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and cybersecurity is a key to our business. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great time to share what we do as an telepsychiatry company to provide a secure connection as well as share some practical tips for cybersecurity that can be utilized to protect your patient privacy on a daily basis.
The importance of a “Secure Connection” in Telepsychiatry
Just like in-person sessions, telepsychiatry providers must adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. In addition to basic privacy measures, innovaTel also implements special measures to provide secure connections for virtual visits. We talked to Frank LaFuria, our Director of Information Technology, about the ways we incorporate cyber safety into everyday operations and he also shares a couple top tips for being safe online.
What is the risk of not having a secure connection and how does innovaTel Telepsychiatry ensure a secure connection?
Frank: “First and foremost, patient demographic information is at risk without a secure connection. Patients want to be sure their information is protected, in accordance with HIPAA, whether they have an in-person appointment or a telepsychiatry visit. To ensure the privacy of their information during a telepsychiatry appointment, we utilize a video platform that uses open industry standard, FIPS 140-2 compliant military-grade 256-bit AES encryption on all control and media traffic. Everything is always encrypted. This means only the people in your conversation can decrypt data passed through this platform. We also put controls in place that only allow our providers to access the video platform when they are connected to a private network.
What are 5 tips to stay safe online?
Set strong passwords
These should include at least 8 characters and include a mix of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Secure your internet connection
Always protect your home wireless network with a password. If you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, be very cautious of what information you are sending over it as these networks are not secure.
Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date
Having the latest security software, browser, and operating system are good defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
Make sure to shop websites that use secure technology. You can identify secure sites by looking for an address that starts with https: (S stands for secure) rather than simply http: They may also be marked by a padlock icon next to the address bar.
Watch out for latest scams
Spam emails, phony “free” offers, click bait, online quizzes and more; all use these tactics to entice you to click on dangerous links or give up your personal information. Always be wary of offers that sound too good to be true or ask for too much information.
If you would like to learn more about innovaTel Telepsychiatry and how we provide secure connections between our customers and our providers across the country, contact us today!
To learn more about cyber security and measures you can take visit the SANS Institute website.