HIPAA Compliance and Mobile Device Security

video conferencing HIPAA compliant application

Thanks to today’s technology, more and more people visit their doctors using telemedicine platforms. Did you know it’s important to use a video conferencing HIPAA compliant application to ensure your medical information remains secure and confidential?

Health care providers need to do their due diligence before using such services of a telemedicine application. In addition, both patients and specialists need to ensure their device is also secure by performing a few simple tasks.

Things have changed drastically from the time HIPAA security was enacted in 1996. Many people do not realize that the settings of their devices can leave them vulnerable to breaches in HIPAA security.

To ensure HIPAA compliance, both specialists and patients using telemedicine platforms should do their very best to ensure a safe and secure environment when connecting to all telemedicine platforms. Doing so reduces the chances of unsecured PHI or protected health information.

By design, mobiles devices are less secure compared to laptops. Here are some tips that will be of help to you in making a few changes to the device to make it work amazingly well:

The Two-Factor Authentication

Most mobile phones or devices provide this option.  Apart from the regular login credentials, a user can enable additional login credentials to tighten the device security. Enabling 2FA or two-factor authentication must be initiated by the user and not automatically enabled per factory settings. 

Use Advanced Password Protection

Using standard numerical passcodes leaves the user vulnerable to hackers as they can easily guess. Instead, use a combination of alphabets, numerals, and symbols when creating a password. Passcodes that have a mixture of characters are stronger and less vulnerable to hackers.

Enable Auto Locking

If you don’t want anyone to access the sensitive information on your device, such as the PHI, enable an auto-locking feature on it.

Enabling this feature allows the device to lock automatically when there has been no activity for a specific period.

Many people find this feature irritating and disable it.  Resist doing so if you have sensitive information such as PHI on your mobile device. As it can be quickly and easily compromised.

Enable Device Wiping

Here is one other option for a mobile device. If you enable the device wiping option, the system will wipe out all the data present on the device. This feature is useful if you lose the device. The device will automatically wipe out data when there is a certain number of failed attempts to access the device.

This feature is quite useful should you lose your mobile device, but think twice before enabling this feature.

Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

It would be best to underline this phrase, ‘Never access PHI when using public Wi-Fi’ as there is always a security threat when using public Wi-Fi. 

For example, if a health care specialist is accessing the system from a public Wi-Fi network, another person on the network may access a malicious site. He might give access to a hacker without his knowledge and suddenly everyone using that network is at risk as the hacker can access all devices and information.

Besides finding a video conferencing HIPAA compliant application, your online appointments will be more secure when you take the steps above.

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