Whether you’re a one-person billing company or a multi-location organization, it’s possible that you’ve seen or heard of Malware and the potential risks associated with it and how it can cause major downtime and potential HIPAA violations due to breached information.
Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. Malware includes viruses, spyware, and other unwanted software that gets installed on your computer or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. They also can make your computer vulnerable to viruses and deliver unwanted or inappropriate ads.
Here are a few, high-level quick steps you can take to spot and avoid Malware.
First, let’s talk security software.
Install and update security software, and use a firewall. Set your security software, internet browser, and operating system (like Windows or Mac OS X) to update automatically, and don’t forget to Back up your data regularly. Strong security software can prevent a hack or scam before it happens. You should install well-known software directly from the source. Sites that offer lots of different browsers, PDF readers, and other popular software for free are more likely to include malware. Read each screen when installing new software. If you don’t recognize a program or are prompted to install additional “bundled” software, decline the additional program or exit the installation process.
Don’t change your browser’s security settings and pay attention to your browser’s security warnings. Many browsers come with built-in security scanners that warn you before you visit an infected webpage or download a malicious file.
Next, watch what you’re clicking on.
Instead of clicking on a link in an email, type the URL of a trusted site directly into your browser. Scammers send emails that appear to be from companies you know and trust. The links may look legitimate, but clicking on them could download malware or send you to a scam site. Don’t open attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is. Opening the wrong attachment — even if it seems to be from friends or family — can install malware on your computer.
Avoid clicking on pop-ups or banner ads about your computer’s performance! Scammers insert unwanted software into banner ads that look legitimate, especially ads about your computer’s health. Avoid clicking on these ads if you don’t know the source.
Your computer may be infected with malware if it:
slows down, crashes or displays repeated error messages
won’t shut down or restart
serves a multitude of pop-ups
serves inappropriate ads or ads that interfere with page content
won’t let you remove unwanted software
injects ads in places you typically wouldn’t see them, such as government websites
displays web pages you didn’t intend to visit, or sends emails you didn’t write
Other warning signs of malware include:
new and unexpected toolbars or icons in your browser or on your desktop
unexpected changes in your browser, like using a new default search engine or displaying new tabs you didn’t open
a sudden or repeated change in your computer’s internet home page
a laptop battery that drains quicker than it should
At Live Compliance, we make checking off your compliance requirements extremely simple.
Reliable and Effective Compliance
Completely online, our role-based courses make training easy for remote or in-office employees.
Contact-free, accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location. Conducting an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment is not only required but is a useful tool to expose potential vulnerabilities, including those such as Password Protection.
Policies and Procedures curated to fit your organization ensuring employees are updated on all Workstation Use and Security Safeguards in the office, or out. Update in real-time.
Electronic, prepared document sending and signing to employees and business associates.
Don’t risk your company’s future, especially when we are offering a free Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status. Call us at (980) 999-1585, or email me, Jim Johnson at Jim@LiveCompliance.com or visit www.LiveCompliance.com
Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending e-mails or text messages claiming to be from reputable companies in order to persuade individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Scammers use e-mail or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information, trying to steal your passwords, credit card account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day—and they are OFTEN successful!
The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that $57 million was lost to phishing schemes in one year. Scammers often update their tactics, but there are some signs that will help you recognize a phishing e-mail or text message.
How to Recognize Phishing Scams
First, phishing e-mails and text messages may look like they are from a company you know or trust. They may look like they are from a bank, a credit card company, a social networking site, an online payment website, or an app or online store. Phishing e-mails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment.
Say they have noticed some “suspicious activity or log-in attempts”
Claim there is a problem with your account or your payment information
Say you “must confirm some personal information”
Include a fake invoice
Want you to click on a link to make a payment
Say you are “eligible to register for a government refund”
Offer a coupon for free stuff
What are the Signs of a Scam?
The e-mail says your account is “on hold because of a billing problem.“
The e-mail has a generic greeting, “Hi Dear.” (If you have an account with the business, it probably would not use a generic greeting like this).
The e-mail invites you to click on a link to “update your payment details.”
Your e-mail spam filters may keep many phishing e-mails out of your inbox, BUT scammers are always trying to outsmart the spam filters. So, it is a good idea to add extra layers of protection.
Four Steps You Can Take Today
Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats.
Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.
Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication. Some accounts offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account.
Protect your data by backing it up. You can copy your computer files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Be sure to check with your IT department and designated Security Officer before copying data to other locations.
What to Do If You Suspect a Phishing Attack?
If you get an e-mail or a text message that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment, first answer this question: Do I have an account with the company or know the person that contacted me?
If the answer is “No,” it could be a phishing scam
If the answer is “Yes,” contact the company directly using a phone number or website you know is real, NOT the information in the e-mail. Attachments and links can install harmful malware.
If you think a scammer has your information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, go to IdentityTheft.gov. There you will see the specific steps to take based on the information that you lost.
If you think you clicked on a link or opened an attachment that downloaded harmful software, update your computer’s security software. Then run a scan.
Finally, contact your Security Officer and IT Staff Immediately.
What Can I Do to Ensure This Doesn’t Happen?
One of EZClaim’s partners, Live Compliance, will make checking off your compliance requirements extremely simple. They have a service that is:
Completely online, our role-based courses make training easy for remote or in-office employees.
Contact-free, accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location. Conducting an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment is not only required but is a useful tool to expose potential vulnerabilities.
Built directly into your portal, easily monitor where your workforce may be vulnerable with our Dark Web Breach Searches. Easily expose breach sources with ongoing searching of active employee email or domain ensuring continued awareness of potential breach exposure. Weekly automatic e-mail notifications if new breaches are discovered.
Informational, and has short, informative, privacy awareness videos covering technical, administrative, and physical safeguards with topics such as Ransomware, Phishing, the Dark Web, Password Protection, etc. Delivered monthly with no logins required, empower your workforce to make conscious decisions when it comes to your organization’s privacy and security.
So, don’t risk your company’s future and avoid phishing scams especially when Life Compliance is offering a FREE Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status. Call them at 980.999.1585, e-mail them at Jim@LiveCompliance.com, or visit LiveCompliance.com. For more specific information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
EZClaim is a medical billing and scheduling software company that provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, they help improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visitEZClaim’s website,e-mail them, or call them today at 877.650.0904.
[ Article contributed by Jim Johnson of Live Compliance | Photo Credit: Shutterstock ]
The “Organizational Assessment“ is one simple step to avoid becoming a victim of dark web breaches.
There’s no secret that the Dark Web is a scary place to lose your information. Medical records information sell anywhere from $1-$1000 by identity thieves! So, what if it affected your entire company?
What is a “breach” and where has the data come from? A “breach” is an incident where data is inadvertently exposed in a vulnerable system, usually due to insufficient access controls or security weaknesses in the software. Data breaches are becoming more common and sometimes out of your control.
You can protect yourself and/or your organization by:
Carefully monitoring where you store and enter your passwords can be extremely beneficial to help minimize the risk of a hack and keeping personal or patient information protected
Routine password changes and monitoring where you store and enter your passwords can be extremely beneficial to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim to a hacker. Passwords should be long, unique in characters, capitalization, and alphanumerical
If you believe sensitive information about your organization was compromised, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators, so they can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
The web browser, Firefox, has a “Monitor” that will warn you by saying, “Your password is your first line of defense against hackers and unauthorized access to your accounts. The strength of your passwords directly impacts your online security.”
EZClaim’s partner, Live Compliance, can help. They aggregate breaches and enable you to assess where your personal data has been exposed. Dark Web scanning is built right into the Live Compliance portal, which allows a company to keep an eye on employees whose information was involved in a breach (and where the breach took place), and the suggested next steps to take.
What can I do to ensure this doesn’t happen to me or my organization?
Live Compliance can make checking off your compliance requirements extremely simple. It provides:
Reliable and effective compliance
Completely online, our role-based courses make training easy for remote or in-office employees
Contact-free, accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location. Conducting an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment is not only required, but is a useful tool to expose potential vulnerabilities, including those such as password protection.
Policies and Procedures curated to fit your organization ensuring employees are updated on all Workstation Use and Security Safeguards in the office, or out of the office, all updated in real-time
Electronic, prepared document sending and signing to employees and business associates
So, don’t risk your company’s future on dark web breaches. Contact one of EZClaim’s partners, Live Compliance, especially since they are offering a FREE Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status. E-mailthem, visit their website at LiveCompliance.com , or call them at 980.999.1585.
For more information about EZClaim’s medical billing software, e-mail, visit their website, or contact them at 877.650.0904.
[ Article contributed by Jim Johnson of Live Compliance ]
There are a few HIPAA items to focus on RIGHT NOW—before the end of 2020!
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has designated the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” (HIPAA) as the national standard for protecting the privacy and security of health information (in 1996). This led to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which has a provision in it for audits, and the HHS Office for Civil Rights is responsible for carrying out HIPAA audits, and responding to complaints and breaches. Ignoring them is not an option!
A Risk Assessment IS NOT Enough A risk assessment is only one element of the compliance process. You must also “implement security updates as necessary and correct identified security deficiencies.” In other words, you must act via a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) and follow the required risk assessment process.
Dark Web It is no secret that the “Dark Web” is a scary place to lose your information. So, what if it did happen and affected your entire company? Identity thieves get anywhere from $1-$1,000 for medical records, for each instance! So, how can you protect yourself and/or your organization?
Well, data breaches are becoming more common—sometimes which are out of your control—so carefully monitoring where you store and enter your passwords can be extremely beneficial to help minimize the risk of a hack and keeping personal or patient information protected.
One solution for this is the automatic Dark Web monitoring built into the portal of one of EZClaim’s partners, Live Compliance. Their solution helps keep an ‘eye’ on employees whose information was involved in a breach, and suggests next steps to take where the breach was found. Then, it allows your to conduct an accurate and thorough Security Risk Assessment. This is not only required, but is a useful tool to expose potential vulnerabilities, including those that involve password protection.
So, what can I do to ensure this doesn’t happen to me or my organization? Well, Live Compliance makes checking off your compliance requirements extremely simple by providing:
● Reliable and effective compliance
● Completely online, our role-based courses make training easy for remote or in-office employees
● Contact-free, accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location.
● Policies and procedures are curated to fit your organization, ensuring employees are updated on all workstation use and security safeguards in the office, or out. It is updated in real time.
● An electronic document is sent to employees and business associates
So, don’t risk your company’s future, especially when Live Compliance offers a FREE Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status.
[ Article provided by Jim Johnson of Live Compliance ].
ABOUT EZCLAIM: EZClaim is a medical billing and scheduling software company that provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support. Combined, they help improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit EZClaim’s website, e-mail them, or call a representative today at 877.650.0904.
As 2020 comes to an end, the last thing on anyone’s mind is what operating system is installed on their computers. However, many are unaware that Windows 7 end of life happened over 10 months ago, and according to Microsoft, “If you are still using Windows 7, your PC may become more vulnerable to security risks.”
When an operating system reaches the end of its lifecycle, servicing and support is no longer available for the product. This means, Microsoft no longer releases important security updates or technical support for any issues! In addition to that, the antivirus software, “Microsoft Security Essentials,” is also unavailable, and they are warning that, “Windows 7 users will be at greater risk for viruses and malware.”
As a result, possibilities of exploitation of private and sensitive data and information is increased, which makes it even more easily accessible to lurking hackers. The Windows 10 update is a safer solution for the common user, but there are still some steps that both Covered Entities and Business Associates should take in order to remain in compliance with privacy settings and HIPAA Rules and Regulations after making the upgrade.
One of EZClaim’s partners, Live Compliance, is an expert in determining compliance, and have offered to help. In addition to upgrading your machine to the latest version, the Live Compliance team of HIPAA and HITECH experts will also ensure that your computer meets all other important compliance requirements, and is safe from other common vulnerabilities.
So, if you have questions regarding your organization’s compliance, Windows 7 end of life, or even assistance in setting up Windows 10, contact Live Compliance at 980.999.1585, or e-mail Jim Johnson.
[ Article contributed by Jim Johnson of Live Compliance ]
ABOUT EZCLAIM: EZClaim is a medical billing and scheduling software company that provides a best-in-class product, with correspondingly exceptional service and support, and can help improve medical billing revenues. To learn more, visit their website, e-mail them at email@example.com, or call a representative today at 877.650.0904.
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