Security is one of the key features and core advantages of using a Patient Portal. The ability to establish a dedicated and secure communication channel between Clinic and patient is at the heart of all portals.
Quality software solutions offer high end security and back-ups. Aerona partners with AWS to offer full resilience and encryption of data across the platform, and this is crucial for peace of mind and to support compliance. But do you know how secure your Portal is? Check with your software supplier as to what security features are in place to ensure your data and patient security.
But even the most secure solutions still rely on users following some key steps to ensure that their use of the Patient Portal is fully optimised for security. Here is some useful advice that clinics and practices can share with both staff and patients to help ensure everyone’s safety and protection online.
We all know that passwords matter of course, but there are just so many of them that it is impossible to keep track of them all. Some need an infuriating mix of upper case, lower case, symbols and numbers; some don’t; some need to be long; some don’t, and all of them need to be hard to guess but at least give you half a chance of being able to remember them.
Human nature sees many of us using the same password, or variations of a password, across multiple platforms. We know that we shouldn’t, but we still do. Realistically, if you are using a platform like a Patient Portal that may contain either financial information for making online payments or checking account information, or confidential medical information, then you must be disciplined to use a unique password that is not shared across different systems, and make it hard to guess.
Avoid dates & places of birth, family names, street names and addresses, pets names, holiday destinations, sports teams or players, and general terms such as password or dentist. These can be easily guessed by anyone with access to social media accounts and are not as secret as you might think!
A password manager is a useful tool to keep track of the many different passwords that you should be using. Most browsers have them built in and a range of apps are available. You must ensure that you do not use these on shared devices and that you have a very secure password.
Good advice for a secure password is to use three completely random words - these can be easier to remember but you shouldn’t use the information to avoid that is listed above. Numbers and symbols can be added if required. A formulation like 1farm+coffeeburger or windowparrot147train is hard to guess and may be easier to remember than a long string of random characters.
It is really important that you don’t leave devices open and unlocked once you have logged in to a Patient Portal or other secure site. Ensure that the screenlock is active on all of your devices and password protected, and that it locks after the shortest possible time that is practical for you.
Keep up to date!
Always ensure that you are running the latest software on your device to give the best and most up to date security coverage. It is easy to put off an update but they can offer critical protection against new security threats.
Security is always a priority with any technology solution and here at Aerona we have almost twenty years of experience in cybersecurity. We are always happy to advise customers on best practices and any concerns that they may have across their business. To find out more, reach out to our Customer Success Team today.