Phishing Alert: Protect Yourself, Your Patients and Your Practice

May 2018

hooded figure hacking on laptop

Keeping health and personal information safe and secure is of the utmost importance to L.A. Care. 

In today's world, there is much more sensitive and protected information being transmitted electronically. In health care, it's not just patient data, but financial information as well, as more payment transactions related to your practice or clinic are being done online.
Because Internet security threats continue to be on the rise, especially phishing scams that still make major headlines, we want to share some tips to avoid these scams and help protect your information. 

What is Phishing?

Phishing is when someone uses a fake email to trick you into entering private information, such as login IDs, passwords, account numbers, birthdays, your mother's maiden name (a common verification question on accounts) or Social Security numbers. 
This information is then used to steal money and/or your identity. These criminals also "fish" with these fake emails to get you to click on a link that launch programs to give them access to your computer’s files.
What makes phishing scams so successful, is that the emails look legitimate. The scammers are skilled at replicating company emails and using logos to make you believe the correspondence is real. They also use urgent messages, such as needing your information to verify an account or it will be closed.

What Can You Do?

As of today, phishing cannot be prevented. It's up to us to take steps and be as vigilant as we can, both in the workplace and at home.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments or clicking on links in emails from companies you know, as well as your friends and family members. Sometimes there are clues in a fake email, such as spelling and grammar errors, or the "To:" and "From:" names are suspicious. 
  • Do not respond to any emails that request personal or financial information. If you think a company or a friend really does need personal information from you, call them, but do not use the phone number listed in the email.
  • Do not open unsolicited email messages and attachments from anyone you don't know.
  • Secure your accounts by making passwords long, strong and unique.
  • Ensure you access Wi-Fi connections that are from known sources and are password secured.
  • Use security software you trust, and make sure you set it to update automatically.
  • Avoid clicking on webpage pop-ups.
  • Do not download files from unauthorized or suspicious locations, systems or websites. 
Remember, if it looks suspicious, it probably is. For more information, you can start with the Federal Trade Commission’s online security site, which has tips on many aspects of Internet safety.