in HIPAA Headlines by John Brewer

There has been a rash of major websites being hacked recently, and the ointment to soothe this rash for you is to be proactive.

Sure this may not directly deal with HIPAA issues, but in the bigger picture I’ll show you how you should respond to these issues, while showing you that this could be a HIPAA issue.

First the news: some very popular websites have been hacked recently:

  • an online music site was hacked…
  • eHarmony: an online dating site was hacked…
  • LinkedIn: an online business-to-business social media site was hacked.

If you are a user of any of these sites, you need to do the following items:

  1. Change your password on the respective website
  2. IF you use a “standard” password among various websites, change your password at those websites also.

So, what do we learn from this?

Nobody is perfect.  Yet, just like keeping your computer up-to-date keeps it more secure, changing your password upon notification of a breach will keep your online accounts more secure (really you should be changing your passwords on a regular basis).

Yes this is a pain…BUT…this is reality.
Just like changing the oil in your car must be done to prevent major damage, you must change your password periodically, or at the very least, upon notification of a system breach.

One way to make this easier is to use a password management tool.

I like and use LastPass.  It works so well, I couldn’t tell you what some of my passwords are anymore.

Something to note, LastPass did have a suspected breach about a year ago.  They immediately suggested everyone change their “master” password.

So, to be clear, if you use LinkedIn (or any other website / service that has been hacked) you should change your LinkedIn password and the password of any other website that may have the same password.  This includes your online banking, your web-based EHR and your fantasy baseball league website.

Before you shrug this whole situation off, would you like to guess what the top 3 passwords used at a hacked site where?
I wrote about this other website hack over a year ago:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678

I’ll be this makes your birthday password, or your street address backward seem genius.


About John Brewer

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