Who Has Access to Your Medical Data? A Guide to Medical Scams

Phishing and scams that steal medical data continue to grow, and cybercrime now impacts the security of more than 80% of businesses worldwide. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to medical phishing scams due to being generally more trusting and wealthy than younger generations who have been exposed to technology and scams at an early age. C & A Scientific has steps you can take, if need be, to protect your elderly loved ones and yourself from the dangerous world of medical phishing scams.

Private healthcare companies aggregate and consolidate a great deal of healthcare information over time in large datasets. Phishing is a fraud in which an attacker pretends to be a reputable person or organization. Medical phishing typically happens when a phisher sends a message or call to a vulnerable individual, and this individual mistakes it for being a legitimate organization.

Learn to Encrypt your Data

Data encryption is key to data privacy. Encryption makes it so that if hackers can breach your computer’s security program, the program will meet them with a set of indecipherable characters rather than a file. End-to-end encryption (meaning that data is encrypted on both the creator and the user end) can keep your data safe whether you keep it on the cloud or a device. You can best encrypt your data by setting up a public-private key pair. This system means you have a public key or password to use software, and the server your system uses hosts a matching private key. While it may sound complicated, you don’t have to know how to code to encrypt your emails and data! Several email host services and web security programs you can install on your desktop now offer an encryption feature. While encryption may cause your software to run slower, it is crucial to keep your data safe.

Guard Your Personal Information

If you get a call from Medicare or Medicaid, do not trust that the person you are talking to is legitimate unless they verify their identity and your place in the system. Additionally, you should never provide Personally Identifiable Information like your social security number or explicit details about your medical history over the phone or to anyone you do not know. You should never let anyone borrow your insurance identification or Medicare card for any reason.

Shred Medical Records Before Disposal

If you have paper medical records you no longer wish to keep, shred them before disposal. The likelihood of having recycled or trashed materials used by identity thieves is low, but it is not impossible. If possible, shred your medical documents as soon as they are no longer relevant or as soon as you can digitize and encrypt these files.

Know your Rights

The average individual has many rights when it comes to personal data. These rights include but are not limited to the right to request your health records, to not be charged for requesting your medical data, to receive a notification that your health information is being used and shared, and the right to file a complaint. Contact your healthcare provider to learn more. 

Consolidate Your Data

Data does not necessarily have to be stored in a single place to be safe, but it needs to be somewhat consolidated to ensure your privacy is not violated. If you keep paper records, ensure that they are kept in one place and in a fire/water safe case. If you own digital files, ensure that they are kept in a secure encrypted file folder, whether you keep them on the cloud or a desktop. Consolidating your medical data makes it easier to share with your general practitioner if needed.

C & A is passionate about helping you improve your health and protect your information. We are here to provide you with the information you need to protect yourself and your family. To learn more about how we support the Medical Industry, check out our Medical Line.

C & A Scientific is a dedicated leader in improving the health and minds of people worldwide. We supply over 700 award-winning medical and STEM-inspired products to distributors and retailers looking for sensational customer service. Learn more about us and our story here.


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