Healthcare Can’t Ignore Identity Theft – Why?
Have you ever heard of medical identity theft? Well, it might not seem so serious if you are hearing about it for the first time. The reality is that medical identity theft might sound less concerning than other kinds of identity theft, especially those that target people’s finances.
However, it is a significant threat that you should start worrying about. Both patients and healthcare institutions are at risk when it comes to healthcare identity theft. Thus,it isn’t something you can ignore. This article will explore everything you must know about it.
Let’s get started.
What Is Medical Identity Theft?
It will be vital to start by explaining what medical identity theft entails. Well, it is the use of someone’s personal information for malicious purposes. For instance, you can use it to see a doctor, file an insurance claim, get prescription drugs, or undergo a medical procedure.
There are various pieces of personal information that cyber criminals can target. They might,for instance, target your social security number, name, or even the medical insurance identity number. Such personally identifiable information can be so helpful to such users.
Sometimes cybercriminals don’t target this information to use it. They might steal it and then sell it to people with malicious intent. According to research, stolen medical records can fetch about $2,000 on the black market. This shows that medical identity theft can be profitable.
Now you know what medical identity theft entails. But then,you also need to know how it came from being a small issue to becoming a significant issue. The next section will look into why over 15 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2021 and the numbers keep growing.
How To Stay Safe From Medical Identity Thieves?
It will be critical to provide you with some tips for staying safe from medical identity theft. If you weren’t sure about what to do, this section will provide you with some excellent tips. It will then be easier to avoid losing your information to cyber criminals. Here’s what to do:
- Invest in your security. You need to find ways of protecting yourself from potential attacks. A wide range of solutions exist to prevent attacks from happening. One of the best solutions you can invest in is an identity validation service. It will ensure that only verified users can access your networks.
- Check your health insurance status. It will help to ensure that you do this at least quarterly. It will make it easier to know when things go wrong and even stay safe from an imminent attack. Ensure that everything on your network makes sense and that there are no gaps left.
- Do regular backups. It can be tricky to stay immune from a medical identity theft attack. If you aren’t sure of your safety, the best thing to do will be back up your documents. That way, you won’t incur major losses even if systems get compromised and information gets stolen.
The Rise of Medical Identity Theft
So, how did medical identity theft rise to become a significant issue? The reality is that medical identity theft is currently a damaging issue that everyone must deal with. If you have ever been a victim of such identity theft, then you know that recovery from it can be a task.
Many people, including cyber criminals, didn’t know how profitable medical information could be. But then, the profitability of medical details became known after a few attacks were successfully conducted. Cybercriminals found out that this information could be a goldmine.
That’s why medical identity theft has grown to become a major issue. Besides, the growing popularity of modern technology has made this identity theft more prevalent. You can be as careful as possible, but modern technology has opened up loopholes for attackers.
This can make it tricky to prevent an attack unless you know how technology works. You also need to know the steps to follow in ensuring that the loopholes in your network get sealed. This is the biggest challenge that stakeholders in the healthcare industry face.
And there’s no doubt that medical identity theft won’t slow down any time soon. Thus, it will be critical to invest in your online security as a player in this industry. Otherwise, it might be tricky to stay safe while browsing in the increasingly risky online environment we’re in.
Types of Medical Identity Theft
It will help to beware of the types of medical identity theft that you need to be safe from. If you aren’t sure of the emergencies that might occur, then it’ll be tricky to stay safe online. In this section, we’re looking at the various types of medical identity theft.
- Medical center hackers who target small healthcare providers who don’t have good security systems.
- White collar crime can be intentional or unintentional by professionals in the healthcare industry.
- Medical provider fraud, which happens when providers take advantage of under-insured clients, especially by asking for upfront payments.
- Fake professionals who sell manipulated offers while disguising them as legit ones.
- Medical phishing entails sending gullible patients tempting hooks to try and make them open malicious links, messages, and emails.
- Treating patients with fake identities and promising them nonexisting offers and services.
Those are the types of medical fraud that you must keep in mind. But then, this list isn’t exhaustive because there are many other types of identity theft that are out there. You might need to research and know what else is worth staying safe from as a patient or provider.
This article has looked into the various reasons why identity theft is a major topic in the healthcare industry. You now know the various types of medical identity theft that exist and how to prevent them. You also have a brief background into the rise of medical identity theft.
What’s left is to get started with protecting your healthcare networks. You should implement these tips to ensure you don’t make yourself a target by leaving security loopholes. Now you can be confident that you won’t be a victim of medical identity theft that could turn costly.