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HIPAA Security Reminder of the Week

Social Networking Safety

Social engineering is quickly becoming the most common way the “bad guys” are breaking into systems. Our systems are good at keeping the bad guys out. But it’s much harder to keep them out once you’ve let them in by visiting infected websites, clicking on links or attachments in emails, or responding to any unsolicited email from an unknown source.


  • Email filtering is 99.9% effective at best so some bad messages are going to make their way through.
  • Be aware of where you input your email address. The more you publicize your email address, the more spam you will receive.
  • Look at the email address of the sender. If you do not recognize it that should immediately be a red flag.
  • Email addresses are very easily spoofed. If the subject looks odd or the email address looks different than you were expecting, don’t open the email.
  • Facebook and other social networking sites are a gold mine for criminals. Be aware of who you “friend” or invite to see information about you. Think of how a criminal would use any information you post to gain your trust or information about you.
  • Logout of all your social media and web mail accounts; do a Google search for yourself, your phone number and your email address to see what information is readily available to a would-be thief.
  • And remember, accessing social networking sites on company computers may not be allowed. Check company policies on Acceptable Use and Social Media.