Here are some tips and suggestions to achieve the most secure connection if and when you decide to open an electronic medical record access account with your doctor, clinic, or hospital:
*Come up with a password that is at least 8 characters and includes at least 1 UPPER CASE, 1 LOWER CASE and 1 SPECIAL CHARACTER (#$%, etc.).
*Only access your doctor's, clinic's or hospital's medical record portal through protected web access. Public Wi-Fi spots with no password requirement should NEVER be used to access electronic medical records or ANY site that requires password-access (your personal banking, investment banking, social media accounts, etc.). Make sure the network is encrypted with either WPA or WPA 2-ENCRYPTED ROUTERS.
*Consider upgrading your anti-spyware/malware; software "patches" for Java, Adobe and other applications; and your operating system (Windows, etc.).
*IF YOU DISCOVER AN ERROR IN YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS:
1. Contact each health care provider and ask for copies of your medical records. Each state has privacy laws in place to make it easier to get those copies: www.hpi.georgetown.edu/privacy/records.html. Understand that you may have to pay a fee to get those records.
2. Report any/all errors to your health care provider(s). Include a copy of the medical record showing the mistake. Explain why this is a mistake and how to correct it. Include a copy of your police report or identity theft report. Send the letter by certified mail and ask for a return receipt. Your health care provider must respond to your letter within 30 days, and it must fix the mistake.
3. Alert your health insurance provider.
4. Alert the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). Reach each of them safely at www.annualcreditreport.com.
5. Consider placing a fraud alert as well as a security freeze on your credit reports through each of the bureaus. That would prevent anything else from being added to your reports without your password-protected permission.
* Andy Wilson, Fraud Investigator/Consultant, Wilson & Turner, Inc., Investigative Consultants, Memphis, TN (www.wilson-turner.com)
* Special Agent Rick Harlow, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Agent-In-Charge of Memphis Office
* Jeff Horton, Internet Security/Data Expert, One Point Solutions Group, LLC, Germantown, TN, www.onepointsg.com