October has been National Cyber Security Awareness Month. EMS professionals need to be mindful of the security of the electronic patient care reports they utilize and the websites they access for professional and personal activities. Follow these Everyday EMS Tips for Cyber Security in the EMS workplace.
1. Never share your passwords for electronic patient care reporting, scheduling software, or inventory/billing processes with co-workers. Once it is out of your brain it could spread quickly. You may (likely will) be held responsible for any actions taken with your username and password by others.
2. Always log out of any password protected websites when you have finished. This includes social networking sites like Facebook.
3. Disable or always say no when a shared computer asks you if you would like it to save or remember your password.
4. Delete browsing history at the end of your shift along with any cookies and temporary files. Recommend that your IT department set browser settings on shared computers so this is done automatically whenever the internet browser is closed.
5. Learn about phishing scams and don’t forward, open, or respond to emails from sources that appear to be untrustworthy.
6. Password lock and protect your personal mobile phone. If your phone drops off your belt or falls out of your pocket on a call you never know who will pick it up. Prevent thieves from making calls with your phone or accessing your web browser data on the phone by password protecting your phone.
7. Always log off and password protect your own personal computer when you leave the station for a call. I mostly work out of hospital based stations. Many ambulance crews can access the day room when I am out of quarters on a call.
What are your Cyber Security tips for EMS Professionals? Do you use specific types of adblocking or anti-virus software? What are your thoughts about accessing public Wi-Fi networks?