October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. As online threats to your personal data become more common, guarding it means taking action. We often think changing our passwords or installing anti-virus software will be enough. However, today a new phrase is, “if you can connect it, you need to protect it.” This means it takes more to protect your data than just updating a password. Find tips on securing your data at staysafeonline.org.

Palco guards your protected health information (PHI) for your privacy, as regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.

Our staff are trained on HIPAA and state and federal Medicaid confidentiality requirements when hired and annually by our Privacy Officer. Palco staff also sign a confidentiality agreement.

Why is cybersecurity important?

We often think, “I don’t post personal information online. What do I have to worry about?” While you may not post personal details to social media, there are other methods hackers can use to gather your data, including your finances, medical records, etc. Since many of your transactions may be on the web, protecting this data is important.

How can I protect my data? 

Sometimes reducing the risks of cyberattacks is as easy as up-to-date software, antivirus software, strong passwords, frequent password changes, and being wary of unexpected emails.

When reading through emails, it’s easy to get into the habit of opening them one by one, not giving it any thought, but to protect yourself from cyberattacks, consider the sender and the content. Don’t click any links from emails you find suspicious. A good rule is to be wary of all unexpected emails. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is. These scams are common. In fact, the United States Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) says that in 2014, 65% of Americans who went online received at least one online scam offer. Be smart and avoid becoming a victim to cyberattacks.

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