Celebrate Data Privacy Day by taking simple steps to protect patient information

Celebrate Data Privacy Day by taking simple steps to protect patient information

January 28 is Data Privacy Day

January 28 is Data Privacy Day, an international effort to create awareness about privacy and protecting data. It is hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), partnered with StaySafeOnline.org.

The health sector is in the top five industries for cyber-attacks because the data we hold is sensitive and is therefore more valuable to hackers. Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to protect patient data.  

CERT NZ has a list of 11 tips to be cyber secure which apply to every individual: 

  1. Back up your data 
  2. Keep your devices and your apps up-to-date 
  3. Choose unique passwords 
  4. Turn on two-factor authentication 
  5. Be creative with the answers to your account recovery questions 
  6. Avoid sensitive transactions on free wifi 
  7. Install an antivirus and scan for viruses regularly 
  8. Be smart about social media 
  9. Limit the personal information you give out online 
  10. Check your bank statements 
  11. Get a credit check 

We have also published plenty of cyber security guidance and education on our website. This includes tips for securing internet-connected devicesenabling two-factor authentication and why you shouldn’t ignore software updates

Patients all around New Zealand put their trust in health professionals and the health system every day. This is an important reminder that the Health Information Privacy Code includes a rule for health agencies to “ensure that there are reasonable safeguards in place to prevent loss, misuse or disclosure of health information.” 

Likewise, the new Privacy Act 2020 came into effect on 1 December 2020 and the new requirements have also come with new fines/offences, such as a maximum $10,000 fine for failing to notify a privacy breach to the Privacy Commissioner. 

The harsh reality is that cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and anyone can be a target. Imagine the damage that could be done if a hacker accessed your system and held patient information at ransom. Not only could the hacker lock you out from accessing your patient’s data, they could also read deeply personal and private details about the patient’s health situation. 

If you’d like more support or information about Data Privacy Day or anything cyber security-related, don’t hesitate to contact us