Health Care Data Thieves Mainly Looking to Make Money

October 26, 2012
56 Views

A Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report for the health care sector relieves that cybercriminals are generally seeking financial and personal information when they break into health care sites, rather than looking for information about a patient’s medical condition or what drugs they’re taking. The Verizon folks portray this as a surprising finding, but to me it’s completely expected.

A Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report for the health care sector relieves that cybercriminals are generally seeking financial and personal information when they break into health care sites, rather than looking for information about a patient’s medical condition or what drugs they’re taking. The Verizon folks portray this as a surprising finding, but to me it’s completely expected. Of course people are paranoid about someone having access to their health care records, but isn’t a lot easier to grab thousands of credit card records and Social Security Numbers anonymously rather than reading through a bunch of medical notes and going to the trouble of blackmailing someone?

But this report does give me the opportunity to rant about one of my pet peeves: doctors offices asking for my Social Security Number. They don’t need it. They shouldn’t ask for it. You shouldn’t give it to them.

I’ve been surprised that the two doctors I visited in the last year –a generalist in a fairly high-tech group practice and a specialist practicing on his own– both asked for my SSN. Although I know they have no business asking for it I still felt a little awkward about refusing to fill out their form. I don’t mind being tagged as a “difficult patient” if it’s due to my desire for shared medical decision making, but I’d rather not make the doctor or office staff angry out of the box if I don’t have to.

Let’s face it. Most physician offices have weak information security. You have to assume your information could get out. Think twice before providing information the office just plain doesn’t need to know.

 


You may be interested

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech
eHealth
3 views
eHealth
3 views

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech

Larry Alton - August 18, 2017

When Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz glibly remarked that Americans struggling to afford insurance should choose between that and their smartphones,…

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software
eHealth
365 views
eHealth
365 views

What to Look for in Patient Solutions Software

Robert Cordray - August 17, 2017

The medical sector is one area where technology has had a significant impact, largely by providing tools that simplify many…

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?
Wellness
2 views
Wellness
2 views

Can Natural Remedies Like RediCalm Decrease Stress and Anxiety?

Ryan Kh - August 16, 2017

According to research from the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the…