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Compromised Medical Data Reminds Us We’re Only As Strong As Our Weakest Link
A new report has uncovered the ease in which medical records, health data and images belonging to millions of patients can be found online. The Pro Publica investigation identified more than 180 servers used in medical offices across the U.S. that were unprotected by passwords or basic security measures.
Kristopher Micinski is an assistant professor at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. As a general precaution, he encourages users to close accounts they’re no longer using and to regularly audit which applications have access to your data.
“Situations like these are good reminders that we’re only as secure as our weakest link.
“Once we give our private data to an institution, whether a hospital or just an app, we must implicitly rely upon that institution to secure our data in perpetuity. One tangible way we can prevent this is to close accounts we no longer use.
“As a concrete example, many people using sites such as Facebook, often, perhaps unknowingly, give third-party apps permission to use their data from Facebook (e.g., dating apps, Netflix, etc.) We must take proactive measures to cut these ties such as in the case of Facebook, Google, and other sites. Each network has the ability to remove apps that were previously installed.
“There’s a link to a Facebook site that will help you audit and understand what apps have access to your data.”
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