4 Tips for Addressing Security Threats in Your Practice

Email spam or junk mail is unsolicited email that is sent to a large number of recipients. These emails are usually irrelevant or inappropriate and may contain malware or viruses that can infect your computer. In some cases, one virus could infect an entire network of computers. All one has to do is open up an unfamiliar or suspicious email and a virus can immediately load on your computer.

The same is true of visiting certain web sites that contain malware or viruses. Simply visiting a popular social media site and then clicking an advertisement could result in a virus being installed on your computer. Spam, junk mail, viruses and malware could lead to data loss, data breach and damage to systems, as well as high replacement and repair expenses. However, most of these threats can be avoided by educating your staff and implementing some basic protocols.

The following tips are intended for small businesses to help address potential threats that can occur while using the Internet and email.

Tip #1: Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software on all systems.
This includes all workstations and servers. Anti-virus needs to be active and up-to-date. Although anti-virus software cannot protect against all possible attacks, it can help to keep your network safer by blocking many known viruses and malware.

Tip #2: Run updates on all systems on a regular basis.
Regular operating system updates help keep your systems secure, so run computer and security updates on a regular basis. The following best practices apply when running updates:

  • Run updates during business downtime to minimize the impact to your practice
  • After updating, test all systems, database software and healthcare devices to verify performance

If you are not comfortable running security updates and testing your systems, then contact a technician to visit your office to provide system maintenance.

Tip #3: Be sure to always have a current backup and an old backup of your data.
When you have multiple backups, you increase the odds of recovering your most recent and complete data in the event of corruption or loss. You should have numerous backups that represent a variety of restore dates; some should be new and some should be old. Multiple backup media and multiple backup methods are encouraged. Be sure that your backup media is secure. For example, some USB hard drives have built-in encryption and password protection.

Tip #4: Establish computer, email and Internet usage policies that protect your practice.
Being judicious with email and Internet access and usage can help keep your practice secure. Consider implementing work policies such as:

  • Only share your business email with business-related entities ; do not use it for personal purposes
  • Opt out of email advertisements and any unnecessary email communications
  • Do not openly post your business email account on the Internet
  • Do not use your business email address to sign up for promotions, drawings or other marketing gimmicks
  • Do not open unfamiliar or suspicious emails or attachments; delete them
  • For web based email users: only use legitimate email services which have a high security rating
  • Restrict email usage and web surfing at work to business use only
  • Implement email encryption
  • Get rid of old email accounts if they receive too much spam, and then create new email accounts
  • Do not allow employees to connect their personal electronic devices such as phones or tablets to the business network

Henry Schein TechCentral has tech experts available at 877-483- 0382 who can assist with system maintenance or helping to secure your practice. You can also visit us on the web at www.HenryScheinTechCentral.com.

Author: Justin Gray, TechCentral Operations Manager
Published: 12/31/2014
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