Results from a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau show that people have many concerns about their personal information and its safety.

They are particularity worried about the loss of control they’re experiencing in regard to their own personal data. In recent years, people have become more concerned about online threats rather than the physical threats that they had feared before. The survey found that there is a rising concern among people that their private data will be stolen; and, a decreasing concern that their identity will be stolen.

The results from The Census Bureau survey show that people who had been affected by a negative online experience are “more likely to have privacy and security concerns and even to change their behavior.” There are many other factors that may affect someone’s concerns as well, such as, current events, technological developments, and the increasing role of the Internet in daily life.

Privacy is a major concern that’s important to most people. According to an article published by Santa Clara University, “To lose control of one’s personal information is in some measure to lose control of one’s life and one’s dignity.” This article goes more in depth into how privacy is vital to all of us because not only does it keep us safe, but it is also more fundamental and touches on the human personhood. So, it is vital that you protect your patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI) for your patient’s safety and for your practice’s reputation.

People who have had their data stolen in the past exhibit greater caution than their peers and even refrain from engaging in certain online activities. The majority of the population, even those who haven’t had a negative interaction, fear their personal data will be leaked out in some way. Accordingly, many see having their personal information stolen as an inevitable occurrence.

As a health care provider, you should make sure that you are following the proper standards and procedures so that you are keeping all of your patients’ personal information safe. Talk to your patients about the current safety methods and procedures that you use to alleviate some of their fears of their ePHI being breached. And, remember, it is in your own best interest to keep your client’s information safe and secured.

We all want to feel a sense of safety and security, especially with our personal information. Join HIPAAgps to learn best practices for protecting your patients and their personal data.