As per report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 among 5 Americans report that they have been a victim of identity theft in the last year and by now most of us are acquainted with the steps to protect ourselves from the upshots of ID theft. However, the results of one particular form of identity theft can be more severe. Cases like thieves stealing your SS number and health insurance details to attain medical treatment and services can be something very tough to detect.
The numbers on medical identity theft are staggeringly high. About 90% of health care organizations have gone through a data breach in the last 2 years and half of the companies had reported experiencing more than 5 breaches within that period. If you’re thinking of the viable ways of ensuring that there’s no identity theft you may check out a few steps to stop medical identity theft.
- Speak to your medical providers about increasing cyber security
You should work with medical providers who offer encryption technology and who communicate with you through their personal secure portal rather than through emails. You may find it an issue to log into the portal everytime but remember that they are much more secured than sending and receiving messages through mail. A medical care provider who pays attention to data security is definitely doing a better job with you.
- Don’t share your Social Security number with your health care provider
In most cases, health care providers don’ require your Social Security number and hence you should think twice before sharing it. However the only exception is for Medicare patients whose SS number is used by their health insurers.
- Request a copy of medical records often, at least once in a year
Just as you need to check your credit reports often, you should also make it a point to request your medical records. You may have to make calls to several doctors but when you have the copies of your records, you can look into it for spotting inaccuracies, give them proof of what your actual medical profile looked like and what alterations need to be made.
- Beware of all sorts of new apps that are being designed
Nowadays using health care apps has become extremely necessary but you may not be aware that their security falls short of the levels that you would require in safeguarding sensitive medical information. As per basic mobile security rules, you shouldn’t store your login details in the app, you should protect your phone with password and you should never use public Wi-Fi.
Unless you’re proactive about taking immediate measures, you’ll always become a victim of identity theft. Take into account the above mentioned steps to avoid being deceived by the ID thieves.