Is your medical information safe?

Interesting article I read made me ponder…..Is our personal medical information safe? As an academic dean for a medical career college we introduced our students to online medical record software and taught them how to use it. We never thought about the systems housing the software.

With medical records going online, ask yourself how secure are the systems that store the software and data? According to security data experts your medical information is much more valuable to and vulnerable identity thieves than our credit card info.

Hospitals, clinics and mom and pop providers need to insure that security is a major focus of the computer systems that hold our information. Add this to your list when seeking a new medical provider…..I did 🙂

 

Let me know what you find out.

Protecting Your Online Reputation (part one):

Protect your wi-fi connections

If you’re like a lot of people, you use public wi-fi service offered by locations like Panera Bread. Unfortunately, some miscreants hang around public wi-fi sites using software tools to capture your passwords and other security information. When someone else has access to your account, it’s a lot harder to protect your reputation.

The good news is, many social sites have made a change to support start-to-finish encryption of your sessions with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This keeps your important information out of the hands of people with bad intentions.

Google has implemented encryption automatically – you don’t need to make any changes. Here is Google’s explanation. Looks a bit out of date, but informative 

LinkedIn uses encryption automatically for some kinds of transmissions, and gives subscribers the option to select SSL start-to-finish. They warn us that some third-party applications may not support SSL:

The road to selecting SSL for LinkedIn is a bit long. Click on the dropdown menu next to your name, then choose ‘settings’, click the ‘account’ tab, then click ‘manage your security settings’. Finally you will see this:

Twitter reportedly made SSL their default setting in 2011, but it would be worthwhile to check your settings. Click on the drop-down menu next to the silhouette on the top menu bar and select ‘settings’. You should see this (the selection for ‘password reset’ is optional but a good choice):

Facebook – check your setting by clicking on the dropdown menu next to ‘home’, select ‘account settings’ then ‘security’, and you should see that secure browsing is enabled. If not, edit the setting.

Taking these precautions will take you a long way toward keeping the bad guys from scanning your signals for passwords. Want to learn more about protecting your online reputation? Contact Pat Huston (pat@pathuston.com), Bob Gaynor (bob@pathuston.com), or go to www.pathuston.com.

Practice safe on-line networking: how to secure your Facebook account

Facebook has again made a change in privacy settings. Without much warning and more often none at all we are faced (no pun intended) with a dilemma. How do I secure my settings once and for all? Haven’t we all heard the saying “set it and forget it,” from Ron Popeil? I think we can all agree that privacy is paramount. More importantly with today’s ever changing environment we need to put a system in place that is not affected by what facebook does with today’s or tomorrow’s flavor of privacy. Some say get a life. I say set a list. With that in mind I think we can all agree on the following.

Today privacy has never been more relevant regarding personal facebook accounts and the people that peek. Today’s people are recruiters as recent studies show that 75% of them are required to query a potential applicants social standing online.  So what does that mean to you? Further analysis shows that 70% of potential applicants are being rejected due to online profiles. This sounds rather dire but the good news is that 85% of potential applicants are being hired. What is a profilee (sic) to do? Quite frankly, it seems the odds are better if you have one than if you don’t, so let’s look at how to project the best image without compromising engagement.

First things first let’s lock down facebook. What fun is it if you have to pretend that every potential viewer is either your Mom or your boss? No worries here boss, as you need to create lists to protect who sees what. Easy to do and fun to navigate. Can anyone here say restricted family, work related or students? These are lists I have within facebook. None of them see my friends, my posts, my pictures or my videos. They might as well not even be friends as they see no more that those that aren’t.  So why would I friend them? Voyeur that I am (and you are too) I am curious as to what they let me see. More than likely they have friended me and I have no reason to say no and hurt their feelings. It also allows me to connect broadly and send personal messages to the list. “Students, don’t forget to look your best for the graduation photos this week,” is an example of how I use the list for mutual benefit.  Lists are easy and lists are fun. Find them under account settings and then the subheading edit friends.

Tag you’re it and find me through search engines needs to go too. Easy to do and found under privacy settings. Facial recognition is tricky to find but one can navigate to it by asking our friend Google. Simply type, “How do I remove facial recognition in facebook?” in the search engine bar. Be careful of third party applications and change your passwords regularly. Please don’t use the same ones for work and banking that you use for social profiles. If I know where you work (because you told me in your profile settings and I didn’t need to friend you to see it) I might be able to hack your account. So be smart and get a policy regarding social media and how to protect yourself. This can apply at home as well as at work. I can help. To quote a bankruptcy attorney that appeared regularly on TV, “This is all I do and I do it well.” I am here to help you set policy that matches your culture. I teach employees and students how to do just that.

Pat Huston is the Director of Education at Geek Speak LLC. She can be found at pathuston.com

Social media 101 for employees: Building a culture of collaboration

Customer service training experts predict employees will bolt as the economy improves. Why? Consider the following professional development scenarios these past few years. Conflict resolution training for dismal if any merit increase, team building skills within a survivor (as in reality TV) mentality, a collaborative approach to long hours, and self provided technology training through a company smart phone that never lets you stop working. Couple this with the death of any formal company training, perks, conferences or soft skills enhancements other that the yearly round up for changing your health benefits. Funny, they always seem to cost more, provide less and come with a strict time frame which includes a window of opportunity that narrows every year.

So big business I got something for you. A perk at minimal cost that keeps on giving and provides you with happy employees willing to contribute to the company social media campaign through their personal accounts. (We can teach the under 30 crowd how to tweet if they help us boomers with loading and using smart phone apps.) Amazingly, the soft benefits are even larger. A culture of collaboration develops as departments discover their social media niche and share with others. The no fb mentality goes the way of no personal calls at work. All benefit by creating the KLT (know, like, trust) culture that social media breeds. This follows with a corporate policy and an ad-hoc selection of social media experts from an informed base of company professionals. Oh, don’t forget to train the President. 🙂

Mr. Livingstone, I presume: How to use LinkedIn to search for contacts

Now that you’ve chosen a target market, start looking for contacts. If your target customers are involved with LinkedIn, it’s a great place to look for decision makers, business managers, and information about their companies.

Where the money is. Why did Willie Sutton rob banks? “Because that’s where the money is.” That’s true for LinkedIn if your target market is businesses. More than 40 percent of North American users are from large companies (10,000 employees or more). Another 30 percent work at companies with 1,000 to 10,000 employees. About 16 percent are C-level, VP or Director. Executives at all of the companies in the Fortune 500 are members. Nearly 2 million companies have LinkedIn company pages.

Join ‘em. Join LinkedIn groups (up to 50) that are relevant to your industry and your target market’s industry. See what questions they are asking. Answer questions to show your expertise. Post informative updates (90%) and focused offers (10%). Follow the top influencers identified by the group. For really important groups, become a top influencer yourself. Being a member of a group also makes it easier to invite group members to be part of your network.

Want to get extra attention and influence? Start your own group. Invite members and start conversations. Ask questions. Promote your events.

Hunt for customers using the LinkedIn Advanced Search feature.

Places to go. Focus on the geography where your customers are, or where you want them to be. Choose entire countries, or look for contacts within a given distance of a postal code.

People to see. Search for contacts by job title, industry, and company name. Or look for individuals by name or key words in their profiles. LinkedIn lets you look for people who worked at companies in the past – they can be a good source of insider information. Armed with this information, you can learn about contacts in advance – no more “cold” calls or mailings. Remember: the more people in your extended network, the more people you can see.

Besides looking for customers, this is a good way to look for new employees.

Things to do. Look for your contacts’ events. Events are good opportunities to meet potential customers off-line … you know, face to face. Help them know, like and trust you. On your home page, go to ‘Search Events’ and enter Tampa, Florida, or another geography. Pick a time frame and an event type and click ‘search’. Sign up for the ones that look good and go!

Extra! Extra! Subscribe to LinkedIn Today to get current news from industry groups that are important to your business. Post links to relevant articles and make insightful comments. Share news with your company colleagues.

Reach out. Save your search, and export results to spreadsheet or contact manager software. Start building your relationships and revenue. Answer group questions. Invite people to join your network. Promote your events. Post updates and comment on other people’s posts. Go out and shake hands. Use the search information for a phone, email or mail campaign. Boldly go where you haven’t gone before.

Stalking on facebook

Today I was handed a note by a previous friend on facebook. The note read “I knew you’d like the piano staircase video.” It hit me as I was driving down the road. This “friend” was referring to a sharing I had on facebook. I was flabbergasted. Not only had I removed them as a friend, I had BLOCKED them as well. All to real an example that third party applications can override anything you do to remove someone from peering into your life.

I am grateful for the lesson this taught me. I learned not to friend so quickly. I learned how to un-friend and block someone from access. I also learned that you can not stop someone from spying and peering into your life. I shudder to think what a truly malicious stranger could accomplish. I hope my experience makes you think twice about that nosy friend that demands you chat with them and then emails you with criticism if you don’t reply. Someone that  clicks on your friend’s profiles that they do not know and gives you unsolicited negative opinions on the friends you have. Someone that puts a note in your hand that says I can still see what you are doing on facebook by mentioning one of your posts. Creepy crawly and Charlie Manson. I hope they see this when it posts on facebook!