HIPAA has introduced many new rules regarding personal health information (PHI) and how to secure technology to ensure all patient information is safe. One of the smallest things that practice owners can do to help follow new guidelines is to ensure the software on all technology is updated. Updating computer software and web browsers are often over looked, however by doing both on a regular basis, you are able to protect clients PHI more easily, remaining HIPAA compliant.
Every update has a purpose. Although we depend on technology to sometimes do the thinking for us, the amount of bugs and security problems we don’t see day-to-day are still written in the technology. Updates come with a reason, that reason is to help patch the holes in the software that we may not know about. Most internet browser updates include security packages that help protect you from viruses that are accessible from websites. HITECH promotes the use of electronic health records (EHR), which means more files are being accessed through internet browsers. This leaves a grey area for those who do not update their browser regularly; they are leaving themselves open for risk. All it takes is one link to be broken and then all the data is breached.
3 Benefits of updating your browser include:
- Security: Updating browsers and technology helps to ensure the information stored on devices are more secure.
- Faster Use: Updating technology and browsers helps to increase the speed of the device, which leads to more productivity.
- More user-friendly: Do you ever want to throw your computer across the room because it frustrates you? Upgrading technology on the device on a regular basis will help to make it a little more user friendly.
Most websites are designed to operate on the most updated version of the browser. When you are online with an outdated browser, there’s a chance that most websites don’t work like they are designed to. Every version of each browser interacts with a website differently so it’s costly and time consuming for a website developer to make different web pages for each version of these browsers. If you have ever had trouble accessing everyday websites it’s because each website faces this issue, an old browser can cause trouble on Gmail, Google, Amazon, or any other website you visit. Internet Explorer is one browser that is troublesome for both users and website developers. Most major websites, Google, Facebook, Gmail and many other everyday sites have stopped supporting older versions of Internet Explorer. So we recommend switching from Internet Explorer to a different browser, the Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.
How to Update Your Browser
- Firefox users: Go to this link.
- Safari users: Click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your Mac. Select “Software Update” to make sure you have the latest version of Safari.
- Chrome users: Go to the menu icon on the right side of your Chrome browser window and select “About Google Chrome” from the drop-down menu.
Information in this blog is provided by our practice management partners, SimplePractice.